How to create a kick-arse marketing plan
Building your marketing program
Any marketing activity planning needs to begin at the top. The strategy is the first item to be addressed and it’s where you determine what you are looking to achieve, who you are, what you stand for and what audiences need to see your product. How detailed it is and how many pages it has, is really up to you.
For start-ups and small businesses, the 100 page decks that corporates do are unlikely to be relevant. You want to get to the pointy end – the action in market - as soon as possible. But a plan is still necessary as it helps determine what you want to do as much as what you don’t.
Building a marketing strategy
The strategy piece should drive the direction and goals of your marketing and really help define and articulate what the business/product you offer is about. The strategy should answer some basic questions:
- What does your business do?
- Why does it do it?
- What does it stand for?
- Who needs it?
- Who is your competition and why would a consumer use them over you?
- Why is your product different and how can you drive preference?
Sometimes these questions are easy to answer and sometimes not so much, but they are the ones potential customers will actually ask, consciously or subconsciously so it’s important to address and spend a few hours mulling over them, doing research and really applying thought to building a strong campaign.
Writing a marketing plan
The marketing tactics, or plan, should help bring the strategy to life. You now know who you are and why you are different and this should help determine what channels you use to drive awareness and trial of your product. Now it's time to ask a series of questions about the product and how you want your users to purchase.
Is your product new to market?
Does it require education of how to use it along with benefits? If this is the case, then a video might be the most effective communications medium. If so, next question is how do you distribute the video to drive awareness? What about the video is interesting and captures audience attention? Would Facebook and YouTube work as distribution channels? How much budget do you have? It’s important to ensure you have enough budget to support purchasing media, such as digital ads and Facebook clicks, and not spend it all on production, as it’s important people see the video and buy into your product.
Are you disrupting a market with an established leader?
If so, then you are a 'challenger brand'. And you need to ask, how do you interrupt the flow of users to the other brand? Are they on Google? If so, then SEM and SEO should be key to your plan (ideally, these should be key channels to any marketing plan). What can you do to interrupt their existing shopping flow?
How do you create repeat purchases and more sales per customer?
Once you’ve started to build your audience consider how do you bring people back to your brand? What’s your product’s shelf life? How can you service your customers again through another product or repeat purchase and how can you make it easier for the consumer?
What digitial products will I need to market my business well?
The other piece to consider is technology. What type of CRM will you need (if any – an excel spreadsheet can work for the short term)? What type of website do you need? What type of ecommerce solution will help? What social media channels and assets do you need? Facebook page, Facebook group, LinkedIn page, YouTube channel and of course it’s great to set these up, and how much effort do you put into driving audiences there.
Once you’ve answered all these questions and put some rigour into a strategy and planning process it’s time to get out into market. Marketing without a plan is often adhoc and lacks direction…but with a simple plan (based on answering the questions above) the results you achieve will be much more impressive.
If you need to brainstorm the answers to the above questions, or need some personalised help on how to write a marketing plan for your business, book a call with me today.