When you are creating a marketing plan, you should create it like your list of groceries.
No body just goes to the supermarket without having a groceries list with them.
Well there are people like Paris Hilton or a Kardashian, who are not on a budget, making money simply by metabolizing oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, as Sheldon Cooper would say. If you are one of those people then this is not the marketing plan for you.
Marketing plans are the only way to map out our way in the supermarket, I am talking about the rest of us with a budget. With this marketing plan you can make sure that you don't waste your budget. That you actually use every thing that you bought and make sure nothing goes to waste!
Taking over the world this year
Now that I made a good comparison, using a groceries list and super market for an example, let's actually talk about a marketing plan!
What is a Marketing plan?
We have to get a little bit geeky, if we wish to create a smart and good plan.
The definition of a good plan is the orderly and structured representation of scheduled marketing actions. We are talking about three to five years for these refer actions to be launched, that fulfills the companies potential and remain true to its corporate values, audience and staff, in a way.
To put it simply, a marketing plan is a organized way for a company to track, measure, plan and schedule their options. Because the world is changing so fast, marketing plans can get pretty complicated and bring together many different departments, approval from the Board of Directors, and things like that.
A marketing plan can be adhered to, but it's exposed to changing some of the following trends or chaining in the external environment.
When it comes to marketing planing, there are two types of marketing plans. The first one is tactical marketing plan and the second one is strategic marketing plan. The tactical plan is usually used only on short-term plans for the upcoming year or so, while strategic marketing plans make up an orchestrated sum of marketing actions overarching the following three to five years. With that being said we can stop being geeky.
What are the benefits of marketing plans?
Putting the long story short, when you get rich you don't waste your money. Every single penny you spend has to be measured to achieve the goal that it's invested in. Thanks to a marketing plan:
You stay ahead of the curve
When you own a marketing plan example, you must ensure that you are consistent throughout your organization. You must always stay sure that any threats are viewed to every single detail.
You sustain your USP
To put it simple,when you have a good marketing plan at hand, you get the chance to hold on to your competitive advantage for longer because it's no longer detached from other variables. A big part of the functionality of your plan is now made by competitive advantages. That means, when ever one of the variables are required to make certain changes, you have to make changes! Tracking the requirement of those changes will never be simple.
Everyone in the company shares the same vision
Your plan will always require you to involve all types of management in the plan making process. This means that you have to share a marketing pan proposal with all the supervisors among your company so every one is on the same page. You have to have good communication and a similar path if you wish to have a functional team, this is really essential. That will also decrease the chances of individuals and departments getting into conflicts.
With making all of this clear, I will introduce you to your vision and mission.
Why do I need a vision statement and what is a mission statement?
Mission statement is maybe not needed.
What I am trying to say is that you should intimidate every new employee. You have to introduce them to what the company stands for, what problems your business is here to solve, where the company should be in three to five years and also you have to inspire them to work hard every day so the company can achieve it's ultimate goal.
Am I right? I thought so.
I believe if take a look at the two examples of the best mission and vision statement it will be easier for you to set up your marketing plan.
These are Googles and LVMHs mission and vision examples:
The hard part of writing your mission is to make it concise and descriptive as possible for those who haven't heard of your business.
This is how Google said it exactly: Mission statement:“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Writing your mission means that you know the path that your company is going. You have to make it specific but don't limit or restrict it by where your company could be in the future.
And Googles vision is “provide access to the world’s information in one click”.
Here is some Parisian savoir-faire by LVMH
If you ask me this is one of the best mission and vision stamen by LVMH.
Mission statement: “The mission of the LVMH group is to represent the most refined qualities of Western “Art de Vivre” around the world. LVMH must continue to be synonymous with both elegance and creativity. Our products, and the cultural values they embody, blend tradition and innovation, and kindle dream and fantasy. In view of this mission, five priorities reflect the fundamental values shared by all Group stakeholders:
– Be creative and innovate – Aim for product excellence – Bolster the image of our brands with passionate determination – Act as entrepreneurs – Strive to be the best in all we do.”
With regard to the Vision statement of LVMH this is what I found:
“LVMH has successfully preserved a family spirit that places priority on long-term vision. The Group’s vocation is to ensure the development of each of its Houses while respecting their identities and their autonomy, providing the resources needed to create, produce and market their products and services through carefully selected channels.
The three fundamental values articulated by Bernard Arnault are shared by every member of LVMH. These three imperatives inspire excellence and constitute the pillars of our performance and long-term success.”
Now start working on your own mission and vision statements and make them as good as you can!
How to write your mission and vision statement
Here are the facts:
Mission can be defined by the pain your business is here to cover for.
By expressing the right words you will show the benefits that your business is providing.
And vision can be defined by how you take the solutions that you are currently offering to the next level in the future.
You have to be inspirational and concise, remember that. By putting your vision in simple words that will greatly increase engagement of the employees in the vision.
And you can't be lazy. You will probably fail the first time, so you will have to write it several times. You should ask the employees who've been by your side the longest to help you. Give your website visitors and new employees and A and B test.
That's why missions statements are a crucial part of your marketing plan. The next thing for you to do is to set up your corporate values.
Why your company’s value system is your strongest wealth indicator?
You could say that the choice of your company values are central pillar of everything you do. Your employees use these values in everything that they do and they will be inspired by them, from the designing the service to product marketing to improving the user experience.
Why are there your company's wealth indicator?
Because they guarantee that you will stay true towards your promise to your customers and staff. The meaning of staying true is to be consistent with what you set out to do.
The company's value system show your priorities and what you value more between tradition and preservation. Does your company value the protection of the environment through the development of sustainable products? Or maybe the democratization of high-end product or service by offering a radical alternative?
There are many things that your value system could stand for. You should have a mix of values in your business, even if you have some common values with other companies.
Let's move on to the corporate objectives.
Corporate objectives or goals, in other words
Now that you wrote down your mission, vision and values it's time for the goals.
Setting your corporate objective are you in for the win or do you wish to be the market leader or provide better customer service? There any many other things, these are just a few examples
Business boundaries add what your expectations are, what do you expect to come up first: R&D, personnel training, corporate image, and so on.
When that is done, it's time for your marketing audit.
What is a marketing audit and does it help my marketing plan?
The evaluation of the internal and external environment, that's what marketing audit is. The objective is to adapt your newly-set corporate objectives so as to emerge with an actionable plan.
Getting started with market research
You have to run a quick market audit so you can set out a successful business and marketing plan.
Easy marketability is no longer used, it's a thing of the past.
With saturated market, you have to stay disciplined, you can't act like a five year old at Disneyland.
Know your Kryptonite in a target market: PESTEL analysis
Here are the sic aspects you have to consider every time. They're called PESTEL and it stand for the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal aspect of the target market. Before PESTEL came to be, a few years ago it used to be just PEST analysis, but recently, there had been an update with Environmental and Legal aspects as well.
The political environment plays a really important role of your business and the well-being of your company. You could say for an example, there is an unstable political system. That unstable political system can cause a change of certain circumstances, thus a varying purchasing power of customers. Other variables influenced by the political environment are trade restrictions or the extent to which legislation is passed.
The most direct influence of a business performance is a markets economic environment. Economic pointers such as economic growth, exchange rates, inflation or consumers’ purchasing power, etc.
As for the technological context of a market, you have to find out if it's ready for your product or not.
Environmental problems are referred to ethically-sourced products, sustainable companies, or carbon footprint guidelines. These must be protected, because it can have an influence of the companies success and for the consumers to accept them.
Legal factors may refer to anything from equal opportunities in a society to advertising guidelines and standards to consumer rights or product label design.
STP, it does not stand for " Spill the Paint "
Marketing strategy needs the STP method as in the Segmentation-targeting-positioning triptych.
It is very important to have a good plan for our marketing actions because they will influence the future of our business.
Segmentation: The filters that marketers apply across a market in order to discover the more important segments and find potential clients. Those are the results of market and customer segmentation.
Targeting: You have to evaluate the allure of the customer segments and the projected commercial success. It is very important that you choose your segments wisely. One of many segments could be financially stable than the other at the time, but maybe in a few years or months this segment could change. We have to assume where our clients are and customize our product and communication accordingly.
Positioning: This is a strategic decision and process that is carried out by a brand. The objective of this stage is to show how the product is different from the competition in a rational, not an emotional way (for example branding).
SWOT analysis, similar to PESTEL analysis, goes far further than external environment of the business examines interval environment, too.
Internal characteristics of the company
Here are the strengths- refer to the strengths of the product or service over those of the competitors. It is very important to write these down and find the best way to build up on them and improve them further as much as possible.
Here are the weaknesses- refer to the room for improvement and progress for our product. With every new competitor that comes, this list will most likely change.
External environment of the company
Opportunities could be refereed to anything from being the right product in the right market at the right time. This could also mean technological advancement that should help you lower the cost of your products,for example.
Threats are a pithy way to bring in everything that your PESTEL analysis showed, as well as market trends, for example.
USP is like UPS it could be of help to you to bring more packages delivery
You business most surely need a Unique Selling Proposition to show how your products are different from the one in the same category. In an annoying environment such as these days, you have to establish your unique qualities in a way that people will be really be memorable and emphasized throughout your ads.
If you want to draft your USP, what you should do is also bring out how you see your USP in the future. You don't really don't need to be stuck with a dated USP.
Think about your ideal customer
In a marketing plan template, we want to see examples of our clients personalities. A clients personality is the ideal customer for our business.
There is a lot of research and thinking that goes into a clients personality, it' not just " My ideal customer is devastatingly rich and needs to buy my product in bulk every other day " that really sounds niche.
Set realistic marketing plan objectives
When you are setting the objectives of your marketing plan, you have to keep in mind that there is no comparable relationship between the budget you spend and the goal you achieve.
For example, if your total budged of $3m got you 30% increase in traffic, that doesn't guarantee that $6m will get you twice as much.
Saying it differently, when you are setting up goals, in order to consider the underlying variables which you might otherwise miss, go for an overarching goal like " Be a leader in the market in 2 years time"
What I want to say is that you should try and anticipate where your market is going in the coming future and be there. Let's say the market is experiencing an upward trend, to the market leader would require a 10% increase that is made on your part. Guessing the budget to put on your brand in-front of your competitors and increase the credit is a cross-functional action that would require a lot of careful investigation.
Have a Marketing plan B
As there are new competitors coming up, you have to be prepared to change your marketing objectives or even better to adapt them to the new circumstances. Saying that there are no ideal circumstances for making a decision, it would be the best for you to have your own list of ideas and actions.
Always have a set of alternative plans, just in case one of your top five competitors change their pricing or in case they start developing the features that you already have in place. It's always best to be safe than sorry. That's why it's always good to have a marketing plan, Plan B.
The 2nd phase of Taking over the world
All marketing mix variables interact.
We know that marketing corresponds to all marketing actions relating to pricing, placing and promoting the product.
The product refers to design your product and its qualities based on your clients and its needs, the needs of the market, comparing it to the competition, and so to...
Price should be chosen by the budget of your targeted clients, that can secure your company's long term sustainability, ability to face the advertising spends of your competitors and psychologically priced so that will make people to shop even more, but also have marketers make discounts and still keep the brand sustainable.
Place,as in choosing where would be the best place to sell your product, how many re sellers there should be in every location.
Promotion, respecting the way you choose to market your product and communicate the message every time, you need to choose how many ads you will put in every quarter, on what channels you decide to cast your marketing in and the specific content you create for each of these channels.
This is the second phase of your marketing plan.
The extended Marketing definition- The traditional Marketing Mix
Packing is thought of as the fifth P of the marketing mix.
If you want to have a long-term approach for your product, should be a very crucial variable to look at before you begin. Packing could be one of the reasons that your brand became viral.
The sixth P stands for people because people represent your business and what it stands for.
If you own a store, it's people who greet the customers and give them service, they display and represent the store.
If your business is a service then you should know that all services face four big challenges: heterogeneity, perishability, inseparability, and intangibility.
Heterogeneity means that you have to ensure that your employees always help out a customer, no matter how many employees you have. That will give the customers smooth and flawless experience with your business.
Perishability means if you own a massage store that you have to deliver a certain amount of messages every month for your business to be in a good profit.
Inseparability shows up when your service cannot be experienced anywhere else but in the premises of your business. This can happen to banks or massage stores, for example.
Intangibility happens when you pay for a service and get nothing palpable. This usually happens with business such as yoga classes, travelling abroad, banking services, for example. To make up for this, yoga classes give out membership cards, travelling agencies give out print ticket holders, banks give out passbooks, and so on.
Life cycle analysis
Last but not least, life cycle analysis. It's an analysis to estimate the life of your product that can help you understand the experience of your average customer. By understanding their experiences you will be able to improve your products and brand extension. When you know this, you can also use it as information to know how to sell or set a price on a certain product.
Let's say that you noticed that your product lasts for a month or two to your average customer and your price is like the purchase will happen twice a month. This shows that your business is not sustainable and that you will probably break in around two years if you last that long.
“Marketing objectives” is all about making it first to the cheese counter
Mapping your business journey is very important to the marketing plan that we are working on. Before we begin, we have to set up our plan and rational objectives for this year, alongside with an arrangement for the future years. In terms of the benefit sought, that is the way we talk about goal-setting in a marketing plan.
Brand awareness and brand recall
Make a plan that blends in with the marketing channels which are bound to bring the best results, that is if you are looking to increase brand visibility and brand recall across your clients.
You have to make your logo as memorable as possible, you can use Facebook, YouTube, and other social media apps to advertise your brand on, your logo has to be original and eye catching! You can also make a unique jingle for your brand, that will make people remembering your brand by something.
Giving your conversions a helping hand also relies greatly to the industry you are in. A huge role in your conversion rate could be played if you consider satellite variables.
For example, in increasing your sales manpower could conversions occur in that function? Will it be a great matter of automating a certain part of your business? For instance, conversational marketing platforms can help delegate certain tasks.
Increase website traffic
This is one of the thing going on your website. You can't just rely on your existing traffic, you always must find new ways to increase it.
Your business doesn't have email marketing? Well you should most surely change that, it will make your marketing plan better. If you are interested Emailverify has a free article on email marketing.
Increase user engagement
By establishing a culture that inspires with your audience, you will get your clients to engage with your brand. You can do that by speaking their language and having similar interests. This can't happened over night, of course. It can be achieved with time and patience, that means you have to maintain that throughout.
There is a leading to interaction that follows your every post and marketing action. This should not be done directly every time, or it may cause your audience to wear out soon.
Increase brand loyalty
If you have been in the industry for quite some years, you probably know that there are new competitors each year. To make it worse, your product is a commodity product, that means you can't differentiate your product. With this in your marketing plan, you have to aim at increasing brand loyalty. You have to increase the reward of your regular clients this will make them purchase from you even more, improve your users experience. By doing that you can increase brand loyalty.
Increase customer base
You can increase your customer base by offering them free plans in the beginning, or special offers upon doing business with you for the first time. This will make your marketing plan much better
There are many thing that help you increase your revenue:
increasing the average order value per customer
entering a new market
extending your current product line
achieving economies of scale by producing under a white label
you have to adjust your prices to the clients that you spotted by target market and highlighting some added benefits, accordingly. This can increase the anticipated value of your products by upgrading your offers and making you more unique and different from your competition
You never heard of target marketing? Well, you should use it, it's a great way to make your marketing plan get better results, Emailverify offers you a free article on targeted marketing.
Increase in profit
Now that you have done everything, next thing coming is that the following years should be about increasing your return on investments. The most essential time of this year is that you choose what the main priority of your company is.
This could be another marketing objective for your business, whether it refers to production costs or automating certain processes so as to increase productivity in your team and put your manpower to better use.
Decrease ecological footprint
With many clients that are environmentalists, make sure to make your products recyclable, even your packaging could be your differential factor.
It’s Show Time: Meet IMC
For those of you who don't know what this means I will explain it, IMC/ Integrated Marketing Communications plan, those are fancy pansy spreadsheet. This shows exactly how long your marketing actions lasted, it shows for each and every action!
You have to make sure that you run a site-wide audit, before you do anything else. Optimize your website pages and also optimize your landing pages for conversation. Otherwise, everything will be for nothing
Define your audience
You can't explain to every one what you do as a marketer with the same words. I mean some will understand and some won't, that's why you need to use some examples or analogies, but you would use different ones every time. That's called essential intelligence and goes by "defining your audience".
For your marketing plan to succeed this is one of the most important steps, the second one is " What is your goal? ".
Once you told them your goal, you now define your audience. This will help you choose the platform to advertise on, so you can reach the potential audience more easily. You have to craft a message that feels kind of " personal " and natural to the audience, so you have to stay relevant and talk about what the audience is interested in hearing, not about what you want to say.
How your Advertising mix can do the trick
Mainly, you have to decide what your advertising mix will look like. There are many options there, so what you should start do to is find the ideal version of the Advertising mix you would like for the following year.
Don't look at the budget first, take a moment to think what you want, then take a look how much of that you can actually do. Make an alternative plan too, so if your budget is low , adjust the main thing that you want and maybe with your alternative.
Advertising could be anything from Email Marketing and Automations , Print ads, Radio or TV commercials, and Social media planning and ads. Yep, that’s a lot.
After that, you should correlate that to what worked for you in the previous year and what market trends are showing.
Is Email marketing a good for marketers?
Yes, it is very good for marketers and their marketing plan and here's why:
Obviously, because it works. You can use the data that your customers have provided willingly and it only costs a fraction of the average social media budget.
The return on investment is equal to 1:40. That's a fact!
You can use thank you emails, welcome emails, and so on. That can improve customers experience and it can increase your loyalty towards your clients.
From welcome emails to thank you emails, Email marketing and Automated emails can give your marketing plan and your business great results.
For example, when someone signs up for your website, they can receive a " welcome " email or a " Thank you " email, you can add a discount on that email to hook them up a little bit, but add an expiration date. After those emails, if they didn't purchase anything, you can send an email to offer and help them if they are looking for something specific.
Why Digital Communications deserve a digital marketing plan of their own
One of the most usual ways to increase your website traffic is with advertising over Facebook. Video marketing is becoming more powerful every day, so with Facebook and Instagram are emerging as virtually the only two fully exploitable networks for marketers.
Your Sales Promotions are so much more than just a pretty face
There are many days that you can hardly get past by, Black Friday for example. If all of your competitors are joining in, you will probably join in too. So you should make use of these days as much as you can, give good promotions and discounts so you make as many sales as you can.
Set Sales and set sail
This is maybe not entirely your task, but it's important that Sale and Marketing share some common goal-setting sessions and alignment. After all, it is salespeople who take on the personal selling task and they must be as updated as possible. This will be really good for your marketing plan and it will help you achieve your goals much faster.
Number of salespeople required
If you are new at this, here is one thing you need to know, if 4 salespeople can bring in Y revenue, it doesn't mean that 8 of them will bring in 2Y revenue. You should choose a number of salespeople that brings in the necessary amount of money and that still allows you to break even, making it thus a worthwhile investment for you.
Training your salespeople
To building brand equity and brand loyalty and taking the long-term approach, this remains the key.
The essence here is to remember that it is your salespeople who communicate with the clients, so you need to pick them carefully.
Discounting as part of your branding
Discounts aren't just some act of kindness, they are a plan used to achieve results against present objectives to estimate the performance and efficiency of campaigns launched. But to be more specific, there are regular discounts such as summer sales, New Years sales, Black Friday, and so on. There are regional sales too, such as Boxing day to mid-January in the UK. There are many days like this that clients expects or better said know that they will get a discount.
The problem with small businesses is that they often lack the resources to estimate their pricing in such a way so that they remain sustainable and manage to develop.
We've reached the end of this article. These are all the basic information that you need to create a great marketing plan that will help you achieve your business goals. We hope this article has helped you gather the information you were looking for. Feel free to let us know if you have any additional strategies that worked for you, we would be happy to hear them out.
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