What is a marketing plan and how to write one?
Are you a new business trying to give your brand a well-deserved head start? Or an existing company looking to give your brand more recognition to bring in new leads? Well having a Marketing Plan is a great way to make sure you know how you are going to increase your brand awareness and sales for at least the next year!
“A marketing plan is an operational document that outlines an advertising strategy that an organization will implement to generate leads and reach its target market. A marketing plan details the outreach and PR campaigns to be undertaken over a period, including how the company will measure the effect of these initiatives.” – www.investopedia.com
Marketing Plans are so important for businesses, but that doesn’t mean they are easy to write, so we have outlined some of the most important parts of a Marketing Plan and how you can write them.
In the very first part of your Marketing Plan you need to include the Business Name, Location, Date Established, Owners and Product/Service.
Now, we know this sounds simple and maybe unnecessary however business information is crucial to the beginning of your marketing plan. Your marketing plan should be able to be passed along and easily understood whether that is by someone new joining your business, or an outsourced marketing agency.
BUSINESS MISSION STATEMENT
A mission statement is used for a business to explain it’s purpose, in simple terms to the world.
It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what your companies focus is but here are a few things to consider:
- What does your company do?
- What values does your business uphold? (think of this in the sense of how your business actually works with your customers/clients)
- Why do you do what you do?
Now place these answers to those questions in a simple sentence or two. Remember to keep your business mission statement short and to the point.
BUSINESS VISION STATEMENT
Your business vision statement, can often get confused with your mission statement however they do have a difference!
Your vision statement is where you want to see your business. So what does your business look like based on your goals and aspiration?
Here are a couple of questions to consider:
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How do you want to stand out from your competitors?
- As a business what are your values?
Business Vision Statements can be incredibly inspiring to yourself and your employees, so make sure it is a statement you want to live by.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities, all of these aspects are so important when considering where your business is heading and what might be holding you back.
Check out these descriptions below to understand what each part means:
Strengths: What do you do well? What is an asset to your business? What resources do you have? Ask others what they think the strengths within your business are.
Weaknesses: What can you improve on? Where do you need more resource within your business? Ask your team or people who know your business what they think you could improve on.
Opportunities: What new resources, trends or changes could you take advantage of? Relook at your strengths and look at those that you can turn into opportunities.
Threats: What do your weaknesses open you up to? What would be detrimental to your business? What are changes you have no power over that would harm your business?
IDEAL TARGET MARKET
Understanding who your ideal target market is, is an absolutely vital part of marketing your business. Without understanding who your target market is, you won’t understand how to talk to them, what channels to use to reach them or what pain points you are solving.
A great way to really understand your target market is by creating a customer persona.
- Personal Life
- Work Life
- Frustrations/Pain Points
This will give you a real understanding of who your perfect customer is from a more personal perspective.
Your marketing goals give you the opportunity to hold yourself and your team accountable for targets, whether that is tasks, quotas, improvements in KPIs, or other performance-based goals.
All of your marketing goals should follow the SMART Goal structure:
Specific | Measurable | Attainable | Relevant | Time-based
This means you know exactly what your goal is, you can measure the results, it is achievable, relevant to your business and you know the timings of your goal. Making it a lot easier to monitor and measure how well your goals/campaigns are doing.
At the end of your marketing plan, you need to outline what actions/strategies you are going to do to complete each goal, ideally matching a strategy to each one of your goals.
This should include what strategy, what goal it relates to and how much it is going to cost (either monthly or yearly) so that you can understand how you are going to meet your SMART Goals.
It also means everyone looking at the marketing plan understands what needs to happen next, how it is going to happen and what impact it will have on the company.
Having a marketing plan is really important for your business and should give you a clear direction as to how you are going to increase your brand awareness and leads, as well as what that means for your business’ resources.
Article: Emma Ellis, Amber Mountain Marketing