There are many established marketing strategies for you to sift through and choose from. That said, there are a variety of plans for a reason.
Each strategy is formed for a different type of business operating on different scales. That can make it complicated to make a decision on the marketing strategy that’s right for you and your business.
It can be extremely helpful to flesh out a few elements of your intended plan and business goals before you choose a plan. This can greatly streamline the process of choosing and figuring out how to build a marketing plan.
How to Build a Marketing Plan
We’re here to give you a few things to think about before you start picking out marketing moves. Let’s get started:
1. SET SOME GOALS
What are your intentions for the marketing plan? It’s important to be specific here. You could have all of the best ideas and intentions, but without a well-defined goal, you may never take the steps needed to get there.
When you know where you’re headed growth-wise, you can choose a strategy that has worked for companies similar to yours in the past. You can also start to plan backward and flesh out how you’re going to get there.
2. UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
As marketers, we can often get caught up in our own ideas about what should work and what won’t. In these cases, we’re typically thinking about the project from our own experience as consumers. Those campaigns are typically the ones that don’t do as well.
It’s essential to have a detailed idea of your marketing plan’s target audience. Further, you could even think about an ideal consumer, fleshing out where they work, what they value, and what sort of things they buy.
3. UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE’S NEEDS
One element of identifying a group to market to is understanding what they need and how you can fill that need. This may require that you put some legwork into understanding this demographic.
Whether you do case studies, reach out via email, or have other means of gaining target audience information, you’ll need to see what people need. You should even work to sift through market data and take some insight from the numbers.
4. KNOW YOUR BUDGET
Your marketing budget should be proportionate to the size of your goals. If your current goals are too expensive for your pocketbook to allow, you may need to scale them down slightly.
Marketing can have huge returns, and it’s important to have confidence in that fact. However, you don’t want to put too much faith in the outcome of your marketing plan because it could put you under.
Flesh out an appropriate budget that is realistic and achievable. This will help you greatly in identifying a marketing plan.
5. LOOK AT YOUR COMPETITION
What companies in your industry are seeing a lot of success with their marketing strategies? Are there any specific marketing platforms that you find interesting or would engage with as a consumer?
Take some time to research different platforms in your industry and conceptualize them as if they were your own. A brief scan of the market can show you what’s happening currently and how you could fit into the scheme of things.
Odds are the companies who are succeeding have done research and have good reason to use the platforms they are.
6. RESEARCH DIFFERENT KINDS OF MARKETING
What is account based marketing? What is cause marketing? Each different form of marketing will have different value and provide useful connections to your customer base.
Understanding a variety of forms of marketing will allow you to make an informed decision about the direction to take with your own plan. Combining your understanding of market research and different marketing platforms should lead you toward the right decision.
Take cause marketing, for example. In this case, the idea is to associate your brand with a cause that your customers support. You aren’t necessarily promoting a product or service.
You’re bolstering your brand’s image to suit the needs of your customer. People in some demographics are more inclined to support brands that give back, and your brand may benefit greatly from linking with a cause if your customer base is progressive.
7. CONSTRUCT A CLEAR PLAN
Now it’s time to make a selection of a marketing plan. By all estimates, there are over 150 fifty templates or rough sketches of what plan can be. Of those options, you should be able to make a selection that fits into the criteria you’ve decided on after looking at the steps above.
Make the decision and lie out clear steps that you will follow in your marketing efforts. Write these steps out and think about each one in detail. Are the things you’re imagining realistic?
Can you hold yourself to the standards set by your plan? If not, make some adjustments to be more conservative. If you find that your plan may actually be limiting your chances of success, consider expanding it to optimize your growth.
7.1 BE WILLING TO ADJUST
If your ideas don’t pan out like you’d hoped they would, there’s no shame in stepping back and reconsidering your marketing plan. Be cognizant of the results and how they’re shaping up.
It’s likely that your initial ideas and goals were a little bit ambitious, though, so don’t jump ship immediately if you aren’t totally reaching your goals. It may even be wise to establish a margin of that you aren’t willing to fall below.
If you don’t get past, say, 70 percent of your expected growth after a certain point, start considering different options. The point is, your first ideas may not work out exactly like you would hope, so don’t get discouraged if you need to adjust a little.
Need Help With the Other Stuff?
Figuring out how to build a marketing plan for your business is key, but there’s a lot of other things to think about as you’re building your business.
There are so many things to consider, in fact, that you may need some help along the way. Visit our site to keep up on ways to make your business the best it can be.