You might be big, you might be small, whatever you are, you’re a business and you therefore need a marketing plan. Marketing might seem like a time-consuming headache to many business, particularly those strapped for cash, time and marketing know-how.
The good news is that with a little effort, budget and time, you can write and implement an effective marketing plan.
Disruptor Media, specialists in providing bespoke marketing strategies and solutions for businesses of all sizes and industries, takes a look at how to write a simple but effective marketing plan.
Breaking a marketing plan down into sections will make it easier to both write and follow. These different sections should include your current marketing situation, who your target audience is, what your marketing goals are, what your tactics and strategies are, and what your budget is.
Marketing plans don’t need to be lengthy, wordy or complex. Using bullet points and concise and digestible language will help make them more ‘readable’ and easy to follow.
Begin writing the plan by outlining your business’s current marketing efforts. Perhaps you don’t have a current marketing strategy. Maybe you have a half-hearted attempt in place that advertises some elements of your business, but which isn’t really getting you anywhere?
By analysing your current marketing situation, you will be able to see what’s going wrong and where improvements can be made.
No marketing plan should be exempt from identifying target audiences. As the Small Business Chronicle writes:
“Identifying a target market helps your company develop effective marketing communication strategies.”
If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘target audience’, it is essentially the set of individuals which share the same demographics, characteristics or needs that a business hopes to meet.
For example, Wrangler’s target market/audience is likely to be males and females in their 20s, 30s and 40s with a larger disposable income. Pampers Nappies target audience would be females of a child-bearing age, pregnant women and families with young children.
Selecting the right target audience is a crucial part of a marketing plan as it will allow you to generate messages that appeal to that market specifically.
Every marketing strategy needs goals, else what is the point of devising a strategy in the first place? When writing your marketing plan, map out the specific aims and goals of the marketing campaign.
For example, is the goal of any marketing efforts to increase annual sales by 20%? Perhaps it’s to grow the business from a ten-man to a 12-man team in the next six months? Or maybe it’s to successfully bring out and market a new product or service?
Whatever your goals are, mapping them out when you write a marketing plan will remind you of those goals and, most importantly, help you achieve them.
This is perhaps the most challenging and lengthiest part of a marketing plan – determining which tactics and strategies you are going to employ within the campaign.
A lot these strategies are likely to be determined by your target audience. For example, if your products and services are focused primarily on the millennial generation, implementing a social media marketing campaign might be the most effective approach, due to the fact Millennials are the first truly digital generation and spend, on average, two hours a day on Facebook!
By contrast, the baby boomer generation, in general, is less active on social media and are still more prone to picking up a newspaper. With this in mind, more traditional forms of marketing, such as newspaper adverts and radio ads, might be a more effective marketing tactic to put in your marketing plan for this particular demographic.
You can see now why identifying target audiences is such an important component of marketing planning.
Every marketing plan should include an allocated budget. This part of your marketing plan should have a breakdown of the costs associated with each strategy or tactic within the plan. Some parts will naturally cost more than others.
For example, an SEO campaign designed to boost the rankings of your website on the search engines is likely to cost more than a single advertisement in the local newspaper.
Laying out the different costs of each tactic will give you a clearer picture of how much marketing you can realistically afford and maintain.
If you require any assistance on devising an effective marketing plan or need any help successfully implementing the different tactics of your marketing plan, get in touch with Disruptor Media, experts in delivering killer marketing strategies.