Every marketer is plagued with countless and sometimes contradictory methods to write a marketing plan. But at least we all agree on one thing, a failure to plan is a plan to fail. When it comes time to plan we all hop into research mode, look at what we did before and see where we do things differently.
With a considerable amount of years spanning across countless industries under our belt, we want to help you simplify marketing plans.
We’ve created a basic step-by-step guide to help you start creating marketing plans like the pros. We’ll summarize it here for you so you can get a taste of what to look forward to.
1. Clarify your business identity
First things first, let’s understand your core business offering and who you are.
1. A bulletproof unique selling proposition (USP)
2. An elevator pitch that sums up your entire business
3. Be brutally honest in the areas that count the most
Our agency’s secret-sauce? We head into it with a clear head, a big cup of coffee and objectively critique the business with our range of time-tested tools.
2. Learn about your customers and how to speak to them
An indisputable fact about modern day marketing is that consumers are now more switched on than ever. There is an abundance of online resources, review sites and competitors fighting for consumer attention and the businesses that come up on time are the ones that know their customers as real people instead of numbers on a spreadsheet.
There’s a great way that we start stepping up your outbound communications and it’s by creating a number of detailed audience personas to set the foundation. These are hypothetical people who represent the most common traits and behaviors of your ideal customers.
3. Positioning your company
There are 8 things you have to nail to get your market positioning right. Market positioning is where you sit against your competitors in this marketplace you all collectively form. Here is what you need to identify:
- The optimal number of competitors to analyze
- Research indirect competition (substitutes that you may not have thought about)
- How to compare USPs and intersections
- Channels to analyze that effect your target audience
- How to make a perceptual map
Now with that all taken care of we can start to focus on ourselves. What’s our brand positioning?
4. Set SMART goals
It’s essential you have a clear idea of where you’re going before you can form a plan to get there. Goal setting is simple – it’s identifying where you want to be within a period of time. But how to do it correctly in the context of marketing and business growth is where the secret sauce and nuance comes into play.
Use the SMART goal setting method to easily do this:
- Specific – How well defined are your goals? This will help to really hone in on what you’re trying to achieve.
- Measurable – Is there a way to directly measure success?
- Agreed upon – Has the rest of the team agreed on these goals? By agreeing on them as a team, you’ll be gaining valuable input into the goals and gain an insight into perspectives you’ve probably never thought about before.
- Realistic – How realistic are your goals? There’s no point trying to say you’ll do everything without actually doing anything.
- Timely – Are your goals set out to be completed in a timely manner? It’s imperative that each goal has a timeframe attached.
6. The plan forward
Utilizing one of the best kept secrets in marketing that is more relevant than ever before, we tackle how to go ahead and transform ideas into deliverables.
Find out exactly what mediums and channels you should be leveraging, what type of messaging you should be using and how you can integrate them into one fluid campaign.