Creating Your Marketing Plan
With the arrival of social media, many people seem to think that they do not need a marketing plan. Simply posting images and videos to people who follow your accounts has been seen as a perfectly fine substitute for a marketing plan.
But is it?
Don’t get me wrong, posting on social media can be a great part of a marketing plan. But having a plan is key to knowing why you are marketing and what you are trying to achieve. Are you ready to buckle down and create a true marketing plan? If so keep reading!
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Answer 6 Questions to Create a Marketing Plan
As Ben stated above, if you don’t have your plan then your probably just preparing to fail. Let’s turn it around by using these 6 questions to create your marketing plan.
1. Where are you now?
This is where you want to take a serious look at your business.
- what are your businesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- what marketing have you done? Did it work?
- what is your reason for being in business?
Figure out where your business currently stands and use that information for your benefit.
2. What do you want to achieve?
Why are you interested in marketing your business? What is your end goal? Here you need to take a look at a few things and then decide what your end goals are.
- how big is your market?
- how can you serve this market?
- what do you want your marketing to achieve?
When your setting your marketing goals, please make sure you are using SMART goals and not generic ones. There are plenty of variations on what SMART stands for when it pertains to goals. Here we go with SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, TIME BOUND. Generic goal– I want to make money. SMART goal- I want 20 new group members for our Facebook group by August 30th.
3. Who is your buyer?
You looked at your market. Chances are that market might be a bit broader then it needs to be. Take a look at that market and really dive into the individual characteristics that make your ideal buyer
- what’s their background?
- what are their demographics/ psychographics?
- what are their goals and challenges?
- what are their fears and common objections?
Answering those questions about your ideal buyer is how you can create your new Buyer Avatar. Having a Buyer Avatar, which is just a fictional/general representation of your ideal customer, will help you create personalized marketing that resonates with your buyer.
4. How will you achieve your goals?
For this question we are not looking for the tactics of how you will achieve your goals. We are looking more for a strategy.
Are you looking at Inbound Marketing. Maybe your looking at Outbound Marketing instead. Is it a combination of the two?
Here you are simply determining how you are going to take the information you have gained above and plan how you should approach your buyer.
5. Which tools/tactics will you use?
Here is where those tactics come in. You have plenty of choices:
- paid ads
- website content
- social media posts
- online videos
Your marketing strategy will help you decide which tool/tactic works best for you. Most likely it will be a combination of a few different tactics.
6. What's my budget?
This is simply the amount of money you have allotted to your marketing goals. Consider itemizing the budget by marketing expenses such as marketing software, paid marketing, content creation, events, and so forth. This way you can then go back to see what was spent compared to return on investment(ROI) per item. Once your ROI in known you can then move more marketing dollars to what you know is working!
“The shortest answer is doing ”
― English Proverb
If you have answered the questions above you should have a marketing plan that tells you:
- the current state of your business and marketing
- what marketing goals you want to achieve
- who you’re truly marketing to
- how you will market your business
- the tools you will use to market your business
- what you plan to spend on your marketing
Will it work? Well as the English Proverb goes you won’t know until you do it. Put your plan into motion and see what is working and what is not. Then adjust to get the most out of your marketing. Maybe you thought your buyer would be found on Facebook, but soon realized you get more responses from your buyer on LinkedIn instead. The key is to get a plan, put that plan into action, adjust plan for favored outcomes, and repeat.
If you answer the questions above and work your plan I know you will find more success then posting random things to social media!
I wanted to share the simple template I use for my own marketing plans. I use this template to get an overview of my answers to the questions above. Once this template is filled out I take each section and get more detailed in answering the questions until I am satisfied. I find having this broad overview of my marketing plan helps me stay on track without getting lost in the details of each section when they are not needed.
When you click on –> this simple marketing plan it will ask if you want to make a copy. Say yes and a copy will be added to your Google drive. This will then allow you to change whatever you want to your tastes! Good Luck