Marketing drives sales so an important part of your business plan is the marketing plan.
Unless you are using it to help you get a loan, a marketing plan does not need to be a big thick document. It can be a “one pager” where you write down your business goals, your marketing objectives, strategies and tactics.
Although it’s only one page, you still need to take time to think about your business while creating your marketing plan. Allow at least 20 hours to create it.
You can download the template at the end of this post. No email opt-in required.
The 6-Step Marketing Plan
Step 1| About your business
Describe your business:
- Why are you in business?
- What problems are you solving for your customers? And how are you solving them?
- Do a marketing assessment. Use our Small Business Marketing Assessment form to get you started.
- What are your business goals?
Step 2| What are your marketing objectives?
Objectives explain what needs to happen and be achieved in order to meet your business goals.
Objectives should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
When writing your objectives start with action verbs such as: Increase, Produce, Grow, Improve, Gain, or Acquire.
Example of a marketing objective: Increase sales revenue by 30% by the end of the year.
List no more than 3 marketing objectives.
Related post: Marketing Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics
Step 3| Your ideal customer(s)
Ask yourself those questions:
- Who are my best customers?
- Who are the clients I love to deal with the most?
- What do they have in common?
Those are the customers that you want to attract.
- Where do I find those customers? Online: social media platforms or offline: networking events, trade shows, gym, school, etc.
- Which media and who do they turn to for information on the type of product or service you sell? Here are some ideas: newspaper, trade magazines, TV, online search, social platforms, friends, or colleagues to name a few.
Understanding your ideal customer will help you:
- Tailor your message to them
- Reach them in their preferred media
- Develop a strong relationship
- And be “top of mind” when they need your products or services
Related Post: Identify Your Target Market
Step 4| Why would those ideal customers choose your business
What sets your business apart from the competition?
Related Post: Do You Have A Unique Selling Proposition?
Step 5| How do you reach your ideal customers?
Here are some examples of marketing tactics you can use:
Online: social media, email, SEO, video or podcast, online ads.
Traditional: trade shows, networking, strategic partnership, direct mail, Newspaper or TV ads, PR.
Customize your ideal promotional mix based on your target market and your goals.
Example of promotional mix: You might combine direct mail, trade shows and online ads to reach new prospects. But use email and social media to build relationships with your customers and potential customers.
Step 6| Your marketing budget
How much will you need to invest in your business to acquire new customers, retain current customers and reach your goals?
TIP: Start with what you can afford and use the more expensive marketing tactics when sales start increasing. The key is to always be promoting.
Related Post: Why do you need a marketing budget?
Bonus step – Your marketing calendar
Plan the marketing tactics you will use. Consider holidays and other events.
Related Post: 2018 Marketing Calendar
Now that you have your one page marketing plan written down
- Keep it handy so that you can refer to it on a regular basis.
- Measure your marketing efforts at least quarterly.
- Assess what is working and what is not, make improvements
- Respond to the needs of your customers, and revise your marketing plan as needed.
- Stay open and flexible … a marketing plan is not written in stone, it’s ever-evolving.
No time for marketing? MyMarketor can help you GET IT DONE.
Contact us today to arrange a free 30-minute consultation to find out how we can benefit your business.
Never Stop Marketing!