Marketing 101 for Small Businesses: Creating a Strategic Marketing Plan
A marketing plan consists of all the strategies you use to get your products or services in front of your target customers. Creating a marketing plan is crucial for your marketing strategy to succeed since it involves all the steps and all the information you need along the way. If you want your business to thrive, you basically need to create a strategic marketing plan, and if you want your marketing plan to succeed, then you need to keep reading!
Why are Marketing Plans Important? Why Do They Fail?
Creating a strategic marketing plan is your route to success. According to statistics, businesses that follow marketing plans are 356% more likely to succeed. Having a plan ready for your marketing journey will allow you to take assured and firm steps. You will know what to do next and what to expect if anything goes wrong. Even though having a marketing plan makes a lot of things easier for you, it doesn’t mean that all marketing plans work all the time. There are several reasons why your marketing plan might fail. If you pay attention to these factors, you can decrease your marketing plan’s likelihood of failing:
Overestimation and Unrealistic Expectations
When business owners overestimate their abilities in marketing, they are likely to fail. As a business owner, you should always know your strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly. If your plans don’t match your strengths and weaknesses, naturally you won’t be able to fulfill your plans. You should always be aware of the things you can accomplish. So you should not set unrealistic expectations. Every goal and strategy in your marketing plan should be achievable and profitable. Otherwise, your marketing plan will fail you and your business will most likely be damaged which will cost you money and effort.
False Buyer Persona
When creating your strategic marketing plan, you should analyze your customer base thoroughly. You should put effort into the buyer personas you will be preparing. Falsely created buyer personas will decrease your chances of making sales because your target will be faulty. Businesses that don’t elaborate on their buyer personas will target the wrong customers and won’t make the sales they have planned to make.
Lack of Testing and Improvement
The most important thing about creating a strategic marketing plan is to test the plan’s effectiveness and make changes accordingly. When you don’t test and analyze your marketing plan and its effectiveness on your sales, you are simply wasting your time and money. You must know what works best and what doesn’t work in your marketing plan. After testing, you should focus on the parts that need improvement and reconsider your strategies. You should always repeat this process to know what your business needs.
Creating A Strategic Marketing Plan
When creating a strategic marketing plan, think about it like creating your business plan. Consider every detail in your marketing plan before deciding on your strategies. Although every strategic marketing plan is different from one another, there are several components that should be included in every marketing plan:
Executive Summary of Business and Product
Your marketing plan should include an executive summary that involves your business details, your products and services, your mission and goals, your budget, and your marketing team. Before taking any steps towards creating your marketing plan, you should see what you have and what you need. Then you can start planning.
Market and Competition Analysis
When creating a strategic marketing plan, you should set realistic expectations. In order to do that, after analyzing your abilities, you need to analyze the market you are in. You should be able to foresee what awaits you and you cannot accomplish that without market and competition analysis. You should know what your competitors are doing, telling you what you need to do. Apart from that, you should analyze your target customers. Previous marketing analysis, demographic data, and buyer personas you will create can give you a strong idea about your target market. You should be careful when creating your buyer personas. For instance, if you are selling kids' clothing, your target audience might be kids but your buyer personas will represent their parents.
Strategies and Goals
After deciding on your budget at the beginning, you can start researching marketing channels for your ideal strategy. You should research both digital marketing strategies and traditional marketing strategies. Choose the best channels for you according to your target market, goals, and budget. You can combine several of these marketing channels to create the ideal marketing strategy for your business.
Performance Measurement and Improvements
Perhaps the most crucial part of a successful marketing plan is performance measurement. When applying a marketing plan, you should always be aware of its functions and malfunctions. To be aware of these, you should constantly monitor the performance of your plan and apply improvements accordingly. Calculating ROI (return on investment) at regular intervals might be an effective way of doing this. That way, you get to see what works and what needs improvement.
Road to Successful Marketing
Marketing is a far-reaching topic of any business, so attaining success doesn’t end with a successful and well-functioning strategic marketing plan. Completing the success that you get from your marketing plan needs strategic development. Of course, that is not as challenging and confusing as it sounds. Just by paying attention to several marketing tips for SMEs, you can take your marketing game a step further!