13 Key Components of a Well Thought Out Marketing Plan
Many smaller companies don't spend them time creating a marketing plan as they either don't have a full time marketing person in house or they don't see the value in taking the time to complete a plan.
But what many small businesses don't realise is that a marketing plan saves you time and money in the long run. Some of the benefits to investing the time in doing a marketing plan for your business are as follows:
- It makes you really think about who your customer is and where you can reach them.
- It encourages you to explore all the avenues where you can generate income and plan accordingly.
- It allows you to plan out your activity in advance strategically rather than re-actively
- It's a tool to record what works and what doesn't work so that you don't repeat the same mistakes over and over
- It's a roadmap so you can plan and execute your activity in advance
Her are 13 key components to include in your marketing plan :-
- Buyer Personas - Know who your customers are by mapping out buyer personas which also include a day in the life of each persona to understand the behaviour of your target audience and where you can reach them
- Value Proposition - What makes your product or service attractive to customers? What is your value proposition?
- Positioning - Where does your brand sit in the minds of consumers and in relation to your competitors. Having a strong position is key to a good marketing strategy.
- Pricing - What is your pricing strategy? What is the motivation behind your pricing strategy? Are you trying to increase market share, maximise profits or defend position?
- Sales Channels - Where will customers buy your product or service? Will you use distributors, retailers, affiliates, networks...What are your channels to reach the customer?
- Promotional Offers - What types of sales promotions will you put in place to entice your customers to buy?
- Marketing Materials - What marketing materials will you need to communicate your key messages with your potential customers? Will you require both online and offline collateral
- Online Marketing Strategy - A good website is key to a good online marketing strategy. It's pointless driving traffic to a website if the customers won't convert. Invest time in understanding your customers' journey.
- Conversion strategy - What techniques will you use to turn prospective leads into paying customers
- Joint Ventures and Partnerships - Are there any complimentary brands or products that you could team up with to strengthen your market position or speed up your routes to market
- Referral Strategy - Word of mouth is still the single most successful marketing channel. We as consumers give far more credibility to a referral from a friend or colleague than we give to brand advertising. How can you utilise your existing customers and your brand advocates
- Strategy to Increase Transaction Prices - once you are successful in your marketing efforts you'll want to look at ways to increase the average purchase price of each transaction.
- Retention strategy - How will you ensure you retain your customers? What efforts will you put in place to minimise churn.
Completing each of these steps in your plan will give you a really thorough overview of how your business is operating. Adding in your financial projections will allow you to forecast effectively and most importantly you can look back and see what has worked, what hasn't worked and what it all cost. This allows you to optimise continuously until you reach the ideal marketing mix.
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