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Wednesday Oct 10, 2018

How to Write a Flawless Marketing Plan

Sounds pretty scary, doesn't it? We bet it does. It can get so scary that you put off doing this essential piece of writing ad infinitum. But don't give up just yet! With us, writing the marketing plan becomes as easy as a walk in the park! So, shed any lingering doubts and let's dive into it! Right now.

What is a marketing plan?

It is impossible to do something without fully understanding what it is that you're dealing with. When you hear something like 'marketing plan', what's the first thing that pops into your mind? Can you come up with your marketing plan definition, or do you need to google for it or ask a colleague? You need to do thorough research to get enough info to know what to do next.

The marketing plan may be defined as a document which summarizes all business operations necessary to reach a target audience, including campaigns to be launched and deadlines to be met, as well as ways of monitoring it. Therefore, knowing how to make a marketing plan involves identifying the most reasonable prices, offering your clients the most attractive options, and tailoring the content according to demographic, psychological, and social criteria. Be sure to research your target audience thoroughly to be able to open up new avenues for growth and get more clients.

How to Create a Marketing Plan

Once you're done completing the above steps, you can proceed to create a marketing plan. Being the basis of your strategy, this document is crucial for handling the ever-changing business environment. As such, it can be modified at any stage of the implementation process. On the other hand, this is just a piece of paper which cannot boost your sales, increase your profit, and ensure your marketing success, so don't pin high hopes on it. However, for your marketing plan to achieve the intended results, it should be properly organized, and this is precisely what we're going to talk about next.

Executive summary and its purpose

As with any other document, the marketing plan requires a synopsis, which gives the reader an overview of the whole plan, as well as introduces your organization by providing a short overview of your business (the services you offer/products you make, clients you have, your achievements, and your employees). Please, keep in mind that the better this part is, the more investors and partners you'll be able to interest.

The importance of the mission statement

The mission statement provides a brief profile of your organization, its operations, purpose, strategy, and values. In it, you should explain the reason for your business being around, which products it offers, how they are different from those of your competitors' and why your business is important for other people. Make sure to outline your corporate standards and culture, including the core business principles your company adheres to. Remember - a good statement is a means of evaluating and analyzing your marketing plan, which is why it should be connected with the whole plan.

The standards of performance

To measure the effectiveness of your marketing plan, you need to set certain standards for yourself. Depending on your goals, market environment and deadlines, said criteria can include: sales increase, positive feedback from the target audience, market share growth, brand awareness, etc. This is an important stage of your marketing plan that can help you gain control over the implementation process.

The significance of defining your core competencies

Core competency is something that gives you an advantage over your competitors. Understanding your competency is an essential factor in making your business successful or even unique. Some of the things that can help you develop core competencies and thus stand out from the crowd include achieving the widespread use of your product and making it too difficult to imitate. Except for those, think about other benefits you can offer your clients to get them to use your product or service and include them in your marketing plan. Conduct a situation analysis of your company.

To perform most efficient research, you need to do a SWOT analysis. SWOT is an acronym that stands for:

  • Strengths.
    Resources, competitive advantages, and other positive aspects which impact your business's development.
  • Weaknesses.
    Distracting facts, lack of resources or services, technological background, etc.
  • Opportunities.
    Beneficial factors, problem-solving strategies, etc.
  • Threats.
    Risky and hard to control factors.

Be sure to implement these principles into your marketing plan to gain a wider view of your company's points.

Core buyer persona

The buyer persona represents your ideal customer and includes specific info about your customers, such as demographic, psychological and social factors which you can use to target your audience. By developing your core buyer persona's profile, you can manage your marketing strategy successfully. Make sure you use the most effective channels of communication with your customers to get the required feedback. Remember - the more info you have, the more ways of appealing to your target market you'll be able to come up with.

What is a target market?

Once you've identified your ideal customer, you can move on to planning your marketing strategy. Let's suppose you know your target audience, but how do you go about segmenting these people and positioning your products accordingly if you produce a wide range of products? One way of achieving that may consist in analyzing your customers':

  • age;
  • education;
  • gender;
  • ethnicity;
  • religious background;
  • income;
  • marital status;
  • lifestyle;
  • interests;
  • activities;
  • social class, etc.

This way, you'll be able to describe your ideal customer in each region and apply this info to the marketing plan you are working on.

The 4 P's of marketing in the context

The so-called marketing mix includes four ingredients, such as Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. If used properly, the four can help you develop your company's brand. They inform you of what your Product exactly is; let you take some Price decisions (depending on the product and other factors); help to work out the best Promotional strategy; evaluate the best Place (location) to promote and sell your product.

The importance of the right pricing strategy

A lot of experts say that Price is the most important of the four Ps of marketing. Being more than just a number, it sends your customer a certain message, supporting your promotional success and maximizing your profit. Be sure to keep that in mind when working on your marketing plan.

Ongoing marketing efforts

Depending on the goal you intend to reach, you should think about the tools that may help you supplement your marketing plan components. Ongoing marketing efforts are the channels you use to increase the visibility of your product. The examples may include videos, newsletters, SEO-optimization, news or blog articles, social media activities. Make sure your customers have access to your company's content and are informed about updates on a timely basis.

Budgeting is the key

Writing a marketing plan takes a lot of time and effort, requiring you to check your facts thoroughly and adapt to an ever-changing business environment. Developing a marketing budget is an equally complicated process which involves keeping in mind all your goals and paying attention to your last year's spending and profit. Your marketing plan should, therefore, address a whole range of different components, including budget, strategies, tactics, and tools.

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