The success of a business depends on your marketing plan. This plan establishes your marketing strategy and, depending on the needs of your business, this plan will change over time.
As your company grows it is necessary to modify your marketing actions to adjust them to the new objectives that arise. We recommend doing a review exercise periodically to make updates when appropriate.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a vital document for any project where all the necessary information is collected that must be considered before taking action , such as the analysis of the current market situation, the objectives of the company, the actions and the methodology to be go to implement.
In Aloha! We believe that each and every business, regardless of its size, should have a marketing plan and that is why we created a short guide to start your strategic marketing plan or to update an existing one.
Here are 10 steps to developing the marketing plan for your business:
1. Set goals and objectives.
Before creating a marketing plan, you must have a purpose for it. This purpose is based on the long-term goals that guide all your efforts. Once these long-term goals are set, break them down into specific goals.
Your goals should be measurable over a period of time, whether it’s your business goals or a specific campaign. For example, your goal may be to establish a social media marketing strategy. In the meantime, a goal related to this goal could be to gain 100 followers on social media during the first month on the platform. When we set the objectives we can be more clear about the way to achieve them.
Do you want to know how you can achieve it? We recommend our article How to define the objectives in a digital marketing strategy? So that you have your path clearer.
2. Analyze your situation.
A SWOT or SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis can give you a snapshot of the situations you face as you market your business. Your strengths are what make your company unique, while your weaknesses are what can improve.
The economy, your competitors, technology, and other external factors all contribute to your opportunities and threats. By analyzing your situation in this way, you can improve your marketing strategies , while overcoming challenges that may or may not be within your control. Carrying out market studies can be a starting point to have a complete vision and to be able to make decisions according to the real data.
Create personal buyers or buyer profiles to define who your ideal customers are and how to attract them. This will help with your analysis, but also later when you develop your action plan, from content creation to targeting for advertising on various platforms.
3. Map your messages.
Your message is part of your marketing strategy and your brand . To create a message map, start by writing an XYZ statement or standard text that contains basic information about your business. Then center other messages related to your customers, product or service around the XYZ statement.
These messages can then be incorporated into your mission statement, press releases, and other marketing materials.
4. Live your mission.
Your business has a set of values that guides it. Creating a mission statement describes these values and ensures that the people who interact with your company are aware of them.
But you also need to make sure that this message honestly reflects your brand so that it can actively demonstrate the values outlined in the mission statement through your interactions with prospects and clients . This statement and how it is carried out can make or break the trust of your customers.
Aloha! prides itself on being your friendly marketing team, which is why we wear the colors we do and address you the way we do. We demonstrate those values by participating in our community. If you feel that your message is not reaching your customers as it should, we recommend you read our article Do you want to know why your customers ignore you? So that you can analyze if you are making a mistake and can correct it.
5. Summarize your tactics.
A successful marketing strategy is made up of many different tactics, including both online and offline options. Your goals, target audience, and industry factor in this decision. For example, if your target audience is young, focusing on social media is more beneficial as this is primarily where this group consumes content.
If your industry is product-based (for example, if you design jewelry), then using a more visual platform would be better to showcase your products. To be most effective, you need to choose which methods are right for your business. Once you’ve selected your tactics, list them in your marketing plan and determine how they will help you achieve your goals.
One of the strategies that is not always used as it should be is email marketing, you can read The secret of email marketing to know its advantages and what you can achieve with it.
6. Make a timeline.
Your time is precious, especially when it comes to your marketing strategies. Based on the goals and objectives you have set for your business, create a timeline that determines what will be completed and when. Remember to allow extra time for unexpected events that may delay some of your goals.
Using project management software can help you create a timeline. At Aloha !, we use Coda, a program that allows us to schedule projects on a timeline, schedule and even assign tasks and keep track of pending ones.
7. Watch your budget.
Creating a budget for your marketing strategies can inform your efforts by determining what you can and cannot afford. Choosing the most profitable options for your company guarantees the success of your overall marketing plan. This does not have to limit your effectiveness but it does serve so that the actions are coherent with the investments that are raised.
Paid advertising on social media and search engines allows you to choose how much you can afford , making them accessible to even the smallest budgets.
8. Divide and conquer.
Once you’ve created a schedule for creating and distributing your marketing materials, assign these tasks to your staff members . If your business is small and does not have the necessary staff to carry out your plan, you may need to consider hiring another person or digital marketing agency who can work with your company on the strategy and implementation of the plan. Ultimately, the size and qualifications of your staff will determine this for you.
If you are not sure if you need a marketing agency, we leave you our articles What is Inbound Marketing and why is everyone talking about it? and differences between B2B and B2C digital marketing so that you know the benefits that professionals can achieve for you and your brand.
9. Measure above.
Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing strategies will inform your current plan and your future efforts. Your website, social media, and other marketing materials are sources for this information.
To help you track this, there are many free online analysis tools available. Just be sure to track data relevant to your business for these measures to be effective.
10. Be up to date.
Your marketing goals and needs will change over time. Ideally, you should review your marketing plan once a year and make any necessary adjustments.
You must write your marketing plan with this growth in mind, in order to measure it. In the meantime, keep track of industry news and trends that you can add to your own strategies.
Establishing a marketing plan keeps your business goals organized and focused, saving valuable time and money. Even if you already have a marketing plan, you can still reap these benefits by keeping it up to date.