Strategic Marketing Plan – 7 Steps that Drive Success
Marketing Plans Build Companies
Marketing can be overwhelming for companies. They are constantly bombarded with options and are often unfamiliar with best practices regarding branding, website development, digital marketing and all the key activities everyone says that you need for a successful product or service.
Working with a marketing consultant that can help you work through the avalanche of options and build a plan based on what you truly need is critical. In addition, working with a marketing company that can develop and execute a marketing plan that drives growth can be crucial to the success of your company.
When working with a marketing company, here are 10 steps that will help you develop or update a marketing plan and make it align with your business goals.
- Marketing Plan Tip 1: Start by Setting Clear Business Goals and Objectives. Prior to creating a marketing plan, you should outline your business goals and objectives to ensure your marketing planning efforts are squarely focused on growth. These should be both short- and long-term business objectives in order to define goal timelines.
EWISE SAYS: While developing goals, incorporate short- and long-term timelines to further focus the marketing plan being developed.
- Marketing Plan Tip 2: Understand the Market, Your Advantages and Disadvantages. A great starting point for companies is to conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis during their marketing planning process. Your SWOT is influenced by your competitors, the economy and a multitude of other external factors. A clear SWOT will allow you to analyze your marketplace and develop marketing strategies that will make you stand out.
EWISE SAYS: Defining your buyer types or “persona” will also allow you to develop a stronger and much more targeted SWOT analysis.
- Marketing Plan Tip 3: Clarify Your Brand and Messaging. After developing a SWOT analysis, spending time to further examine your brand and clarifying your messaging will help ensure that you develop a marketing plan that is in tune with the needs of your market. This process should further refine messaging for key stakeholders associated with your marketing initiatives. That way, whether you are sending marketing pieces to healthcare vs insurance providers, you have aligned your messaging and branding accordingly.
EWISE SAYS: Simple is hard. The simpler and tighter the message, the more impact it has on mobilizing your target audience.
- Marketing Plan Tip 4: Don’t Forget Your Mission and Vision. A hyper-focus on the market and outlining a marketing plan can make you forget why you are doing this in the first place. It is important to make sure you do not lose sight of the mission and vision of the company. That includes causes that you support outside of your business. Your passion in this area will distinguish you from the competition. Furthermore, younger generations are especially interested in working with companies that have a purpose tied to their brand.
EWISE SAYS: Be authentic in your branding, messaging, mission and vision. Trust is gained through these efforts, so they need to be included in an honest fashion into your marketing strategies and marketing campaigns.
- Marketing Plan Tip 5: Define your Marketing Tactics. A successful marketing strategy is a collection of different marketing tactics sequenced and segmented in a manner that activates key target audiences. Whether online, offline, or in a combination, your marketing activities are defined by your goals, target audience, and SWOT.
EWISE SAYS: Next to each marketing tactic, define what success looks like. Having clarity on your micro successes will help you build a macro marketing plan that is realistic and achievable.
- Marketing Plan Tip 6: Develop a timeline. A marketing plan is nothing without a defined schedule that outlines the development, launch, and maintenance of communication initiatives. Whether you do social media posts on a daily basis, CRM email campaigns on a weekly basis, and/or public relations distribution on a quarterly basis, a timeline will keep everyone focused on actions and results.
EWISE SAYS: This is where marketing operations and project management become important. Consider the time it will take to implement, integrate and incorporate other tools that help make your marketing tactics successful.
- Marketing Plan 7: Divide and Conquer. Marketing campaigns require a tremendous amount of graphic design, content development, website design, and overall teamwork to keep momentum. Working with a marketing company that can help manage and offload these details while you focus on the growth of your business is the most efficient thing a company could do.
EWISE SAYS: It is cheaper and faster to activate an experienced marketing company that can hit the ground running versus someone that you need to train and hope they get it right. Focus your energy on business operations and let a marketing agency like EWISE offload the minutiae.
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