Structuring an effective marketing plan

Table of Contents

Creating a marketing plan may seem daunting at first, but it is essential to starting your journey. By knowing what you are doing and what you want to achieve, you can lay out a clear, realistic way of getting there.

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a coherent and strategic roadmap that allows you to visualize and define your business objectives. With some time and effort, you can build the foundations to successfully grow your business and optimize your market reach.

Without a plan you have no direction, so let’s run through a few things that can point you the right way:

  1. Objective
  2. Know your audience
  3. Who are your competitors
  4. Marketing Budget
  5. Content
  6. Monitor and Review
  7. Adjust your plan

Getting started

1. Objective

What is your end goal? What do you want to achieve?

You should already have a clear idea of your business objectives, so this is the time to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). Your starting point is knowing exactly where you are right now.

2. Know your audience

You know what they want, before they know they want it.

Identify your demographic and build your ideal customer. Knowing your audience is fundamental to the growth of your business. Understanding their buying habits, their likes and their dislikes, will allow you to create a concise and informed marketing plan that can be tailored to their interests and needs.

Find the solution to their problem through the products and/ services your are offering.

3. Who are your competitors?

What are the strategies and unique selling points that give them the competitive edge?

This is the time to find out your competitors strengths and weaknesses. You can do this by analyzing their website and social media, as well as their content and email marketing strategies. Also focus on the their downfalls, what don’t they offer that you do e.g. better customer service (reviews) or lower priced products. What unique selling point gets you ahead and noticed?

4. Marketing Budget

It’s not essential to invest large amounts of money into your marketing, or even any money at all. But its always good to be prepared for hidden expenses, so it could be a good idea to put 10% of your budget aside.

This is also the time to decide whether you will be going forward with organic or paid content. Your outreach will be much higher with paid content (such as advertisements) but if you aren’t focusing in the right areas, this could be a huge financial loss and not benefit your business at all. So make sure you spend time considering your options.

5. Content

Creating great content is one of your most powerful tools. Content builds your identity and helps your audience understand who you are as a person/ as a business.

Just remember, quality is always better than quantity. You want to tell a story and help your audience relate to what you have to say, you want to entertain them, solve their problems and answer their questions. By being consistent and focusing on key words, your content will boost traffic and generate new leads.

Distributing your content is just as important as the content itself, so choose the right social platforms for you, but also for your audience.

6. Monitor and Review

Don’t wait around for someone else to get there before you, constantly monitor and review your current marketing strategy.

What content helps expose you to new sales/ followers? Are your posts relevant and providing your customer with the information they’re looking for? Are you achieving maximum engagement?

It’s unrealistic to expect all your social media platforms to perform the same. By monitoring your progress, you can start allocating your resources to the platforms that work and less time on the ones that don’t.

Utilise the KPI’s in your marketing plan to excel your business prospects and measure your effectiveness. Have you had a growth in sales, web visitors and social media interactions? Communicate short term goals and double down on proven methods.

7. Adjust your plan

Simply put, do what works and do it more!

Identifying the biggest gaps in your business and set goals around key areas to remain focused.

Are you looking to create a marketing plan?

On our Going For Growth course, we will help you to develop a Marketing and Growth plan for your business.