A marketing plan helps solidify the objectives of a company by identifying a clear understanding of both your products and potential customers. A good marketing plan will also highlight the successful aspects of your business and products, but also shine a light on areas of weakness and opportunity that may need more attention.
A successful marketing plan will showcase a deep understanding of what your company offers, how they offer it (and where, to whom, etc.), and will demonstrate clear insight of your particular place in the market, as well as details about your customer base and why they make the decision that they do.
Positioning Statement ‚
A good place to start is with your company's mission or product positioning statement. You need to be able to boil down both your business and its product offerings into simple, clear, direct statements that will serve as the overview and drive for all of your marketing efforts. A focused mission or positioning statement is the backbone of every solid marketing plan.
SWOT Analysis -
In order to know why your customer might choose your business, you have to have a crystal clear understanding of your product ‚ and your competition. This can be done through a process called "Situational Analysis," or "SWOT." A SWOT analysis consists of an honest listing of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of your business and products.
Once you deeply understand your product and place in the market, you will then be able to lay down plans to move forward in a realistic and effective way. Identifying your customer base and potential customer base is more than just identifying a demographic. You need to know what compels them to make their purchasing choices, where they shop, what product they currently buy, who influences them, what media they watch, and what their habits are. The more complete the customer profile, the better your chances of developing lasting customer relationships.
What Do You Say?
After you identify who your customer is and what their existing buying habits are, you must decide what it is to say to them. Each individual marketing project needs to have own focus, its own purpose, and its own plan. While each piece of marketing will help bolster the purpose of your overall marketing plan, each piece must also have its own clear focus and function.
How Do You Measure Success?
Know how you will measure success before you put projects into place. Each marketing project may have different calls to action, and each should be measured according to its own standards. Going into your marketing projects with a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished and how that will be measured will guide you toward creating effective, on-target messaging.
A solid marketing plan is essential to any business's growth and success. Marketing plans range from the simple to the very complex, but starting with these basics will set your company in the right direction for success.