Grow your business with a simple 6 step Marketing Plan
Need a simple marketing plan but are unsure where to start?
Trying to get your head around marketing your business can be overwhelming, especially if you are already wearing so many hats. But now is not the time to start losing sleep or throwing in the towel. A simple marketing plan will make your life easier. It removes the guesswork and the hours spent hoping and wishing that one day everything will fall into place.
A solid marketing plan provides clear and simple direction on your business goals and outlines the best way to achieve them. It allows you to monitor your results so you can adapt your strategies and learn from your efforts, which in this ever-changing digital landscape can only be a good thing, right?
So we’re here to show you how to create a simple marketing plan that actually works. One that doesn’t just look good on paper. And will boost revenue and achieve your goals without the fluff.
Ready to take your digital marketing strategy from a stab in the dark to an unrivalled success? Read on.
So, what is in a Marketing Plan?
Your marketing plan should be clear and well-defined. Think of it like a roadmap to guide the implementation of your marketing strategies. It should outline how you will grow sales, raise brand awareness, and drive your marketing initiatives.
Unlike your marketing strategy which details how you will achieve your objectives, your marketing plan should include your campaigns, budgets, content, channels, deadlines, and KPIs. Your marketing plan should document everything from the big-picture ideas to the nitty gritty details.
Without a marketing plan, your yearly budget can get messy. It’s impossible to guess the budget you’ll need for projects, resources, hiring, and outsourcing throughout the year. But don’t worry we’ve made it easy for you by breaking it down into 6 simple steps. Achieve success through marketing without overspending your budget!
- Determine your businesses mission
First things first, let’s establish exactly what you want to achieve. What are your goals? Do you want to drive awareness? Do you want to generate leads? If so, how many?
Next, it’s time to decide how and why you want to achieve it. Once you have clarified your goal you can dive into the details, and work out how you will assess your marketing outcomes against your goals. Easy!
- Define your target market
Now let’s identify your target audience. Who are they exactly?
This is the important part. Creating buyer personas to detail your target audience will allow you to get a better understanding of who your target audience should be.
So what is a buyer persona? A buyer persona describes your target audience. Think of it as a fictional person who represents your current and potential customers. Remember that this ‘character’ should be based on in-depth research of your target audience.
But what should your buyer persona include?
Firstly, you will want to identify your broader audience by highlighting demographics such as;
- Marital status
- Level of education
Next, you can narrow down your buyer persona based on psychographics like;
- Buying behaviours
We like to think of it this way – the demographics describe who your buyer persona is, but the psychographics explain why they fit your target audience.
- Outline your competitors
Now that you have defined your target audience, you’ll need to identify who your competitors are. Knowing your competitors lets you monitor who is also targeting your target audience. Not only will this allow you to gain a deeper understanding of your competitors and what they offer, but you will also be able to identify gaps and opportunities in the market. Researching your competitors will help you to gain a competitive advantage by filling these gaps.
So, how can you identify these gaps? Monitor your competitors’ reviews, read their comment sections, and keep an ear to the ground to be the first to hear any customer complaints or suggestions.
Your competitors may not be as good of a listener as you. They may not value their customers’ inputs or might just be late to the game with taking on customer suggestions. Knowing the customer pains of your competitors will give you the opportunity to remedy these pains and target your competitors’ customers by highlighting the solutions that you offer that your competitor doesn’t.
- Create a marketing budget in line with your goals
Don’t get ahead of yourself! Before you run off to launch any marketing strategies you need to set your budget.
You may be thinking to yourself “I don’t need a budget, I only use free platforms and marketing channels!” But don’t be fooled. There are many hidden costs within a marketing plan – whether it’s freelance fees, sponsorships, or a new full-time marketing hire, make sure it’s all included in your budget.
Forgetting to set a budget can result in overspending and incorrect use of funds, which is something you definitely want to avoid! Make sure you don’t exceed your marketing budget by prioritising your goals, strategies, and channels. What is most important to you? Once you have decided on what you want to prioritise you can then allocate budgets to your marketing strategies based on their level of importance.
- Set realistic deadlines
This is where many people go wrong, either underestimating or overestimating the time they need to achieve their marketing objectives. Overestimating timelines can be just as bad as underestimating them. Setting deadlines that are too long can result in employees putting off tasks, prioritising other projects, or even forgetting about them altogether.
Be realistic when setting your deadlines!
Each deadline should progress you to your next objective like a roadmap to achieve your primary objective. Set deadlines for milestones as well as the overall deadline for your main goal. For example, if your goal is to generate 100 new Sales Qualified Leads within two months, you should set deadlines for each step of your strategy – content creation, approval, campaign launch, and campaign completion dates.
- Report Your Success
Get to know the fundamental marketing analytics tools – Google Analytics and Facebook Ads Manager. These tools will be your bread and butter when it comes to analysing your digital marketing strategies. Decide what marketing metrics are right for you.
Make sure to monitor your chosen KPIs continuously. You can’t just wait for your deadlines to check your marketing success. Regularly monitoring your KPIs lets you see how your projects and strategies are performing. It lets you know if your marketing objectives are underperforming while you still have time to make changes, allowing you to optimise your marketing activities before it’s too late.
Failing to monitor your marketing activities can lead you to overspend on low ROI activities. And no one wants to waste money on marketing that’s getting little to no results, right?
Allow yourself the time to spot marketing activities that are eating up too much of your budget. If you’re unhappy with your marketing outcomes, test out new things – different marketing channels, reassign budgets to whatever works for you, or even reassess your goals. The most important thing is to make sure your goals are realistic!
Need help creating a marketing plan that works for you? Our expert team are here to help! Contact us today!