Making a marketing plan is a critical step in business operation. A good plan can help businesses to uplift sales, and a bad plan can lead to failure. These days, after the Covid-19 pandemic time, businesses need to find a good way to survive, and it is a requirement to have a smart marketing plan, not to burn budget. Every marketing plan should be measurable, show ROI (Return on Investment).
So, how to make a good and powerful marketing plan? ASHAVI share some tips for marketers to create a good marketing plan as below.
What is the marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a report that combines all of your marketing strategies over a given time period, usually for a year, quarter or month. It is everything you need to know to successfully promote your business.
Steps to make an awesome plan
1. First, it’s about knowing your business
Before jumping into the tactics and execution, it’s important to take a review of all marketing activities that have occurred in your practice over the past 3 to 5 years. No one knows you well more than you. But sometimes, marketers are overconfident, believe in their own strengths and ignore their own weaknesses. Market and consumer are more demanding, the success in the past might not remain to continue in the future. During the process of making a marketing plan, you should take time to review your strengths and weaknesses with a non-bias mindset. SWOT is one of the best ways which helps you to review your strengths and weaknesses.
Conduct a basic SWOT Analysis is the first step to creating a marketing plan. Be as thorough as possible, because it won’t work if you don’t. Make sure to take research to every company channels from traditional to digital space and evaluate whether it was successful.
2. Understanding your target audience & market
This is by far the most crucial part of your marketing plan & a key element for coming up with effective and successful marketing strategies.
To do it, list out everything you know about your ideal customer. It’s not about their demographic like gender, age & income, but also their behaviors and decisions. Conduct market research to uncover their personas:
- What drives your audience?
- What problems are you solving for them?
- How do they spend their free time?
- Where are they usually be on the Internet?
View more market research methodology in the Insightful Solution module, it can give you more ideas to conduct market research and gather information to make a good and informative marketing plan.
3. Analyze all of your competitors
You’ll need to figure out who you’re really competing with to find out what they’re doing right & opportunities they haven’t taken advantage of.
- Who are your direct & indirect customers?
- What are its products & services?
- What are they doing better than you?
- Look at their digital presence: website, social media & other platforms
Learn what your competitors do right and do wrong, understand the root cause of their success also their failure. How quick you learn, how good you act. What competitors don’t do, doesn’t mean it is your opportunity. In contrast, what competitors do, doesn’t mean it is not a blue ocean. For safety reasons, you might need to follow what your competitors do if they succeeded, but you do better than them, to get more successful. To take the challenge, you can think over how to do it differently, but consider that your differentiation should be “Consumer focus”.
4. Setting SMART Goals & Objectives
Every plan needs to be measurable, feasible. Measurable with clear key indicators. You should pre-define the KPI in your market plan, and also have a back-up plan if KPI has not been met. You should try to quantify your KPI with numbers. Of course, KPI can be qualitative, but numbering makes more sense. There are some common marketing goals that business usually want to accomplish, such as:
- % Grow brand awareness (compare to previous time frame)
- % reach, % engagement, …
- % Increase in presence on digital – traditional channels.
- % Expand market share
- % Increased sales & profit
The objectives and KPI should be dedicated to each team, each member of your organization. It should not be just an overall company target in the paper.
5. Outline an actionable marketing strategy & tactics
A marketing strategy is the plan of business objectives, it combines all aspects of the customer journey and gives visibility to each department. It is built after detailed market research to help businesses focus on its resource to increase sales.
Specifically, a tactical marketing plan breaks down business goals influence specific marketing goals. It should define what you hope to achieve, how you will implement your strategy, and defines the channels and tools,… Essentially, these are high-level ideas. You can try many new ways to approach your customers, try new tactics. However, all the approaches should be aligned with your objectives which have been settled before.
6. Set a goal-driven marketing budget
The marketing budget is usually based on a certain % of company revenue. Normally, the percentage of marketing cost is from 10% up to 30%. At the early stages of business operation, you can increase marketing budget more than 30%, but we recommend you to control the marketing budget effectively and measure its spending closely. It ensures that you are staying on target with estimated costs vs. the actual costs. Your marketing budget will include all of the prices. This would include printed materials, website development and ongoing maintenance, and search engine optimization.
Setting next year’s marketing budget follows the same process: looking back at this year’s accomplishments and defining next year’s goals and resources. The marketing budget should not more than 40% of total revenue because it will be dangerous for the business cash flow situation.
6. Set up marketing metrics to track
Finally, close your marketing plan with a brief explanation of how you plan to track or measure your results.
In addition, measurement objectives allow you what you will need to support your marketing goals. It is a structure to report all your marketing plan and see whether the objectives are met or not.
For example – your company website, general metrics are: Unique visitors, search engine traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate or internal links, backlinks, … You should assign clear the task for each team members, or department to measure the marketing activities, and closely look and track it as more frequent as you can.
What is the most important part?
In conclusion, every decision of your company should be based on real data from the market. That’s an answer to the “Why” question before you start doing anything.
If you are still looking for a partner who can help your business with the full package, from conducting market research, get the insights and make it in “real action” with technology support, ASHAVI would be a potential choice. Our technology service includes Mobile app development, data analytic, business intelligence. With the market research team covering all the industries, we provide many solutions with competitive costs. Contact us for more information.
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