Last month, we touched on just how important it is to have a marketing plan that is updated yearly. Not only does this help your staff to know exactly where marketing efforts are being concentrated for the year, and how much of the overall budget each tactic is allowed, it also helps your business to have identifiable goals and trackable results.
But if you’ve never built a marketing plan, you may not be sure where to start or what to do. That’s why we’ve broken down the process into 5, easy-to-follow steps to help you get started.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Plan
Conduct a Situation Analysis
Before you get started building your marketing plan, you need to know where your marketing efforts currently stand. This means identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
You should also do a deep-dive into your current market. Conduct a competitor analysis to see what they are doing well, and where they are lacking in meeting customer needs. Identifying gaps in your competitors’ marketing efforts gives you the opportunity to fill them, thus better meeting customer expectations and better solving pain points.
Define Your Target Audience
Now that you better understand your company’s situation, it’s time to identify your target audience. If your team has already built buyer personas, you can likely simply refine the information that you already have on hand for this step.
If you don’t have buyer personas, it’s time to build some through market research. Your persona should include demographic information such as gender, age, income, and location. It should also identify pain points and goals; what drives your audience? What problems do they have, and how will your products or services solve them? Having this information on hand makes it much easier to identify opportunities and build your marketing goals.
Identify Your Goals
When it comes to business goals, you need to make sure that they are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Following this framework helps you to write goals that will drive the greatest impact. For instance, if you want to increase social engagement, you might have a goal to increase a certain platform’s followers by 10% over 2 months. Such a goal follows SMART guidelines.
Analyze Your Tactics
Once you have your audience and goals outlined, it’s time to put some thought into the marketing tactics that are going to best fit your situation.
Are you looking to focus on building a social media presence? Organic posting and social-only discounts can help increase followers and engagement. Looking to sell more products? Targeted ads may be the way to go. Once you know your goals, identifying the opportunities to meet these goals should be relatively easy.
Set Your Budget
Your marketing plan is almost complete, but there is one final, crucial step: setting your budget. Not only does this help your team to know exactly what amount they are allotted to apply to each tactic, it also helps you to keep from over or under spending. And, with a set budget in place, tracking your return on investment is much easier. It is vital to be able to check in to see which tactics are performing best, and if any may need to be adjusted or abandoned at the end of their timeframe.
Get the Help You Need to Maximize your Marketing Plan
If you’re looking for help implementing your marketing plan for the year, we are here to help. Gulf Coast Web has decades of experience in managing digital marketing and web design services for business across all industries. Our staff consists of highly-trained web design and digital marketing professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. And unlike many other design agencies, we have a content writer with over 10 years of experience on-staff to handle everything from website copy to blogs to social media posts. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.