Is the marketing for your company striving? Have you read your marketing plan since you wrote it? Do you even have a marketing plan? If you answer no, to all of these, I recommend that you step back for a moment, reflect or build your marketing plan, and always be tweaking.
Having a marketing plan is a beneficial tool every company should have in its arsenal. It provides a road map to see how your marketing strategies are working for you. A company should always have their marketing plan updated by year, season, or quarter, all depending on your company’s needs. It not like a Business Plan when you are building a new product or company. Once your product or company has launched, you don’t have to go back to it like you do your marketing plan. The marketing plan is the heart of the marketing operations of how successful you will be marketing your product or service. Therefore, it is so important to always be tweaking your plan to benefit your brand or company.
A marketing plan should consist of the following:
Here are the 5 MUST-HAVE’s for a Marketing Plan:
A value proposition is a promise to you are making to your customers that you will be delivering a fantastic product or service to them. This is a statement that details what you offer, who you are offering it to, and why you are the best company to deliver your product or service.
It is vital to know the kinds of customers that will purchase your product or service. There is a range of market opportunities broken down by:
Innovators: they are ahead of the curve and are always seeking out to find the next best thing. For instance, it is a passion for them, and they will always try it once. Which is crucial for anyone selling a product or service.
Early Adopters: they are quick to grasp the benefits of the product or service you are selling. This group trusts on their own perception and visualization to make buying decisions.
Early Majority: they are more practical-minded customers, if a product or services seems beneficial to them, they will try it. Keep in mind they do tend to be more guarded when it comes to trends and fads.
Late Majority: they will wait for a product or service to become well known. They tend to purchase from more prominent companies and don’t trust the small businesses.
Laggards: these folks aren’t really looking to buy any new products or services.
I can say most people fall under the category of Early and Late Majority. You should really understand each group so you can market to them.
We all know that our product or service is not the only one out there. There is a lot of competition out there, and you need to be ahead of it. You have to always keep an eye out so you can ALWAYS have a competitive advantage. To do this, you should use the Competitive Landscape. This is 7 questions you need to ask to analyze your competition and keep you ahead of the curve.
How and where they distribute?
What are their strategic alliances?
What are their key accounts?
Their market share or sales volume?
Their industry, product, or account focus?
What is their value proposition?
How do they answer the question: Why buy from us?
Now, let talk numbers! When creating your marketing plan, you need to consider what your budget is for the year. This will keep you aware of where your funds are going and how to allocate them accordingly. I recommend having a spreadsheet to keep track of all your expenses. This spreadsheet will also be useful for the following year to see how much funding you will need.
To be successful in your marketing efforts, you will need to plan out your announcements. Create a marketing calendar that will help you map out dates for your marketing initiative. Think of this as your blueprint for marketing your product or service.
Remember these words: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him/her and sells itself.” – Peter Drucker
Learn about your target audience so your products and services can sell itself. These 5 must-have will get your brand or company to become a marketing machine.