Effective marketing can grow your brand and boost your business, but it takes thorough analysis and careful planning to reap those rewards.
Creating a marketing plan should be one of the first steps in your strategy, or what we like to call a foundation activity, to outline your priorities and identify your position in the wider market.
Think of a plan as a roadmap for your marketing, showing a path leading towards your key business goals.
Just remember that a successful marketing plan takes time and considers many different factors in order to create a strategy that is right for your brand.
Here is a step-by-step guide to creating an effective marketing plan:
Set your goals
The first step is to think about where your business is today, where it has come from and where you want the business to be eventually.
To borrow from organisational consultant Simon Sinek, start with “the why” of your business. What’s your purpose for existing and what impact are you trying to make?
Gather your key stakeholders and senior management team across your key departments and run through this entire process in a workshop. You should look at how your business has grown so far to understand what has worked for you in the past and what hasn’t.
Then set some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) business goals to work towards, thinking in time frames such as one, five and 10 years.
Review the market
Once you have your goals in place, you can look for ways to you reach them.
Identify your target market and consider why your customers choose to do business with you.
Be sure to review your own products and services, plus where you sit in your industry, in case there are new opportunities to explore.
Additionally, assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors to better understand your position in the market.
Create a plan
All of this information can then be used to develop a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to find the best places to focus your energy on.
Through your SWOT analysis you can often find gaps in what your competition offers or what the market needs. These are great places to focus your attention to differentiate and grow your business.
With a completed SWOT analysis, you can look at your brand experience and highlight every touch point that a customer has with your business.
Mapping out the customer journey is a great way to pinpoint existing and missing elements, making sure everything from your business cards to your website content is consistent and branded.
It’s also vital to understand that every touchpoint, be it with a customer, supplier or even your own staff, is a representation of your brand. You should try to consider everything, from the way your staff dress to the way your shop or office looks, and even the way people answer the phone.
You can also start setting up some actionable tasks to bring your marketing plan to life, but prioritise the right activities and establish clear reporting and measuring tools to track your progress.
Things to consider
Remember to write your marketing plan as clearly as possible and review it at least every 12 months. Reviewing your plan regularly will allow you to determine which activities are working to your advantage and which activities may need tweaking or refining.
There is also much more to an effective strategy than creating a plan, such as executing your day-to-day marketing activities and eventually more advanced concepts.
If you need help creating a successful marketing plan, we have the expertise to analyse the market and establish the right goals.
Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, and delivers successful marketing strategies with organisations of all sizes.
To find out how we can help your business grow, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via our contact form below.