In order to succeed, a company needs a marketing strategy. As soon as you determine and adopt the marketing strategy, suggested by the marketing team, a marketing plan becomes a necessity. A marketing plan provides a roadmap and will eventually help you turn your goals into a feasible reality. A plan helps you organize your marketing strategy and set up deadlines, accomplish it, and track your progress and achievements over time.
Nowadays, to be able to promote your business, brand or services you need to get a clear understanding of the market and then outline a plan considering your capacity and opportunity for growth.
If you have never done this before, you can naturally wonder where to start. Here are a few tips to follow to develop a perfect plan.
#1 Outline your company’s mission, vision, and values
The mission of the marketing department should align with your company’s mission. If your company is going to sell new software, your mission might sound like ‘how to attract customers and convert them into software users’. The customers of the company mostly serve as a core value. And you can envision your company as the best software development company ever.
#2 Determine key performance indicators (KPI)
KPI is crucial for tracking mission progress. Those individual metrics measure different metrics and help you set your short-term goals.
#3 Identify your target customer
Understanding your ideal buyer is crucial to developing a marketing strategy and plan. This is basically who your company wants to attract. The target audience can be broken down by different demographics to attract people who will most likely convert into customers.
#4 Develop a content strategy and channels of communication
Your target audience defines the channels of communication. You should choose wisely and determine the type of content that attracts your potential customers. As a marketer, you can also set up the amount of content you need per day/week/month. You can measure KPIs for all types of traffic: organic, paid, referral, etc. to measure the success of your marketing campaign.
#5 Define the marketing budget
The marketing campaign can utilize both free channels and organic traffic in combination with paid campaigns and traffic. Thankfully, the majority of platforms allow running testing campaigns so you can measure their success and choose the one that brings more leads. Measuring KPIs of paid campaigns helps you not to lose track of the financial aspect of marketing.
#6 Identify the market and your competition
Before you start, you need to conduct thorough research into the market and your competitors. In other words, you need to know who you’re competing with. All of them use different channels of communication and marketing strategies. Research is a big deal in developing your strategy. You might even want to outsource professionals to perform this task.
#7 Define key players and their responsibilities
Once you’ve outlined both strategy and a plan, you need to define its main contributors. You’ll have to delegate the tasks and track their KPIs. There is no need for micromanagement, but every team player should clearly understand his or her role within the project and responsibilities.
However, there are typical mistakes to avoid while crafting your plan.
– Copying the competitors is no good. Their route will not necessarily work for you. Your company needs to develop your own steps and create a unique selling proposition that is going to convert your potential customers into real ones.
– Lack of customer research and poor testing of marketing campaigns. Finding out the demographics of your ideal customer and the best way to reach them is crucial before you spend any money on advertising. A/B testing needs to be performed before each campaign to test customers’ response and find out possible improvements.
– Targeting only new customers and broad audience. Repeat customers are invaluable and much more likely to respond to your campaign. You can even use direct marketing techniques to reach them. Targeting too broad audeince makes reaching your ideal customers even harder. Besides that, your message can be irrelevant to them.
– Setting too many goals for each campaign. Try to narrow down to one goal for each campaign and tailor it according to it.
– Not defining and tracking KPIs. Without it you won’t be able to track the success of your campaign.
Of course, you’ll encounter a lot of pitfalls on your way. However, you can get ready for them and successfully avoid them.
#1 Failing to get proper market insights
When you do not have a clear understanding of the market and what triggers your customers to reach out to you, you’re basically relying on a wild guess. This being said, try to attend sales meetings and get first-hand information to boost your sales.
#2 Crafting your plan prior to getting the minimum viable product
Developing a marketing plan before you’ve actually something to share with the world won’t take your business and sales anywhere. Before you launch any campaign, a marketing team needs to conduct profound research not only on the idea, but the product or service itself, and its pros. Conduct SWOT analysis (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats). Then you’ll be able to boost its sales.
#3 Not reaching the targeted audience despite all the efforts
This issue results from poor customer research. Again! You need to get the profile of your ideal customer to be able to find the right channel of communication.
#4 Losing your objective and overestimating sales
Don’t get overwhelmed with tactics and lose your goal. Besides that, you cannot solve all the problems with the marketing plan. Focus on a bigger goal and stay realistic without overestimating sales. Being obsessed with sales you risk spending too much money without reaching your goal. Set up a realistic goal and go for it.
Creating a marketing plan from scratch can be challenging. Big companies usually have their marketing departments. Smaller companies tend to outsource those processes to third-party companies. Start-ups either work on their strategy and plan on their own or outsource. VAfromEurope works with big companies as an integral part of a team for lead generation, social media management, copywriting, etc., as well as small ones that need help with developing their strategy from scratch. So, you’re welcome to reach out to VAfromEurope for a piece of professional advice.