What is a Marketing Plan and How to Develop One That Works
We can all agree that having a good plan is necessary to get the results we want in any aspect of life. Planning helps us set and achieve our goals, identify possible opportunities and threats, and more importantly, give us a clear perspective on what needs to be done. And although having a plan doesn’t guarantee immediate success, it improves your chances. That is why in business, a good marketing plan is also critical to success.
Whether you are building a new business from scratch or looking to grow an established one, you need to develop a marketing plan to guide your business in the right direction. If you’re wondering where to start and want to know how to develop a marketing plan that works, then you’re in the right place.
Keep on reading to know all that there is in a successful marketing plan!
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A marketing plan is a roadmap detailing how a business is going to promote its products or services to the customers. This plan helps you set up your goals and build a timeline to achieve those goals.
Successful campaigns and advertisements wouldn’t be possible without a clear marketing plan. Even a study revealed marketers who proactively plan their marketing strategies are 331% more likely to report success compared to their peers. With a great marketing plan, you can see the bigger picture and make sure you use your full potential to attract customers and increase sales.
Here, we've gathered six ways to develop an effective and successful marketing plan:
Set realistic goals
List down realistic goals as specifically as possible. Because without realistic goals, you have no way to monitor progress, and when your goals are too broad, nothing gets your attention. For example, your goal for the new year is to grow your business. But how much growth is a success? Try to be as specific as making your goal to acquire three new clients or have one collaboration by the end of the year. This way, you’ll know when a goal has been met.
Identify your competitors
Knowing who your competitors are and what they are offering can help you establish a unique selling point and formulate an effective marketing plan. Start by understanding what makes you stand out from your competitors and recognizing your weaknesses. You will then be able to see where your competitors are missing the mark so you can fill the gap in the market.
State your brand position
Once you know what makes your business different, you need to have your brand positioning statement, because at the end of the day, being ‘different’ from your competitors is just not enough. A positioning statement is an expression of how your brand satisfies the target customer. This statement will help your brand appeal to the right audience.
But what does this positioning statement have anything to do with developing a marketing plan that works? Well, your positioning impacts your branding—the nature of your products or services, your prices, and how the consumers see you. So every decision you will make about your brand should align with the brand positioning statement.
Budget the plan
You now know your unique selling point, and what you want to achieve, and you have decided to take the leap and invest more in branding. But then you think to yourself, “Can we afford this?” The only way to know is through a budget plan.
No business should be without a budget plan, and marketing does require money for various reasons, including campaigns, paid promotions, advertisements, and events. Your marketing budget determines how much money you will spend, and it will ensure that you won’t be spending money on the wrong investments.
Collect internal feedback
A lot of times, the best feedback comes from your team since they’re the ones who know your products or services inside out. So it only makes sense to hear them out and mine some valuable feedback from them.
Have your team share their feedback by asking good, specific questions about the marketing plan. Doing this can also help drive their genuine enthusiasm towards your company’s products or services.
Like every situation you’ve ever been in before, you’ll know that no matter how much you’ve planned, there are times when unexpected things happen. And it’s the same in business. You can always plan ahead, but every plan must have room for flexibility. Because if anything, in business, the ability to change and adapt is key to success and growth.
By leaving room for flexibility, you will be able to respond to new competitive activities, marketplace fluctuations, and evolving customer desires. Regardless of what may occur, remember that priorities may change and new opportunities may arise. It’s always good to be ready!