Did you know that 1 out of 12 businesses closes every year?
It’s no wonder that people want to stay on top of their marketing game to make sure they don’t have to shut their doors.
A strong marketing plan is the best way to find success with a small business. Keep reading to learn 7 steps for building a marketing plan.
7 Steps to Building a Marketing Plan
If this is your first business and you are trying to figure out where to start with building a marketing plan you might be feeling overwhelmed. This is a normal feeling because it can seem like a lot when you don’t know what you’re doing. A marketing plan is vital to help you get clear on where you’re heading.
A marketing plan is different than a business plan it’s a strategic plan that focuses on keeping customers and winning them over. There are numbers, facts, and goals involved when creating a marketing plan. This plan of action will get you generating leads which will turn into sales.
1. Current Situation
The first step when building a marketing plan is to sit down and get clear on what your current business situation is. You want to write down who your company is, the products or services offered, and the benefits your business provides to its customers.
If you have a stable business and are working on taking it to another level then you ‘ll want to focus on leveraging your current customers to create more cash flow. If you’re just getting started then you will have to invest in other marketing techniques to grow your customer base.
Take an honest look at your current situation and come up with a realistic marketing goal.
2. Target Audience
This is a huge part of your marketing plan because if you don’t know who your audience is how do you come up with a successful plan? No matter the business understanding who your audience is and what they like is key and crucial.
When you get clear on your audience age, geographic location, job title, lifestyle, etc you will be able to plan your marketing campaigns around them in order to see more sales.
Once you know who your audience is and your current business situation it’s time to set a budget aside. There are two budgets you have to come up with a money budget and a time budget.
How much money can you spend per month to market your business? This will help you narrow down what you can and can’t do.
How much time can you work on your marketing plan weekly? This will help you stay focused on what you have to do to stay on track.
4. Marketing Goals
Next step is to write down what you want your end goals to be for your marketing plan. A good question to start with is how much do you want to see in your sales increase by the end of the year?
Make sure you’re specific give an exact number and exact date for your end goal. Just saying more money or more customers isn’t enough.
Make sure your goals are realistic to you so that you don’t give up before getting started. As you reach small goals you can increase your goals and make them bigger and scarier. Write down your long term and your short term goals to give you a clear picture of the road ahead and like earlier make these realistic too.
Now that you have your goals and budget down it’s time to choose what type of marketing you will use. Thanks to technology you have a myriad of options on top of traditional marketing tactics. Traditional ones you can choose from include advertisements (television and radio), billboards, print advertising to a name a few.
If you want to also dive into the world of technology there is social media, video marketing, websites that millions of people are consuming on a daily basis. This guide is the place to go to learn about the digital world of marketing.
6. Action Plan
With the list above you can create your marketing plan and once that’s written out it’s time to write down the tasks you want to achieve to achieve your marketing plan. Once you have your list clearly laid out, put your tasks in order from most important to least. This list will be there for you to remind you to get your marketing plan started.
This final step is technically considered a post-marketing plan and extremely important. After putting your marketing plan into action you will sit down to evaluate every month to ensure that you’re on track to meet your goals.
This is the time that if you find that something isn’t working it’s ok to change it up instead of wasting time and money on something that isn’t working. Your goal is to maximize time and money and get your business growing. If you’re exceeding your goals you can make those bigger and if you’re not meeting your goals this is the time to evaluate why and what you can change to meet them.
Time to Create a Plan like a Pro
Now that you have read the sever steps above to building a marketing plan you can get started right away. If you’re serious about growing your new or existing business it’s time to sit down and get serious and clear about your marketing plan.
Are you ready to learn more about digital marketing and get some great tips? Check out our digital marketing section where all your questions will be answered.