A marketing plan is an outline of your overall strategy and the accompanying tactics that will help you achieve that overall strategy you set out. Marketing is the customer-centric component of your overall business management process. Taking the time to identify two critical areas of marketing for your business is the key to creating a solid plan.
1. Who are you talking to?
Before you can map out tactics for gaining awareness, generating leads, sales or getting customers through the door you need to identify who you want that customer to be. And the answer cannot be anyone. As the saying goes, if you’re everything to everyone then you’re truly nothing to anyone. Identify your ideal customer. Create primary & secondary personas. This is a critical exercise early on when you are making your marketing plan.
2. What is your message?
Now that we know who you’re talking to you’ll be able to identify your message with the accompanying tone and visuals. Whether you are selling a product or a service you are addressing a need. Focus on the benefits as opposed to the features of what you are selling. A marketing plan needs a communication strategy. That is how you position yourself in the market. If you’re selling a commodity and focusing on quantity and mass distribution your strategy will be vastly different from an established brand selling the same type of product. Are you selling a lifestyle? Do you have a story to tell? These are some of the areas you need to invest the time to fully outline before you proceed.
Why does this matter?
When it comes to marketing, the possibilities are truly endless but your budget isn’t. So when making a plan that will undoubtedly involve spending on media & various channels I have to select the right mix. This decision is less risky when I know who my audience is and what I’m communicating. Each digital channel serves it’s own and related purpose. At the end of the day, it all comes down to where your customers are. Which is why a responsible marketer will always identify your audience and message first before presenting you with a plan. We know we have to spend money to make money. But with proper planning, we can make sure we spend responsibly with a goal in mind.
I could talk about this all day so reach out and drop us a line!