In this guest post, Pier marketing’s Alex Stock (main photo) offers his expert tips on giving your marketing a spring clean…
Setting a solid marketing plan ensures your marketing strategy and tactics are totally aligned with your business objective. When brought into line your marketing efforts will work in unity with other areas of your business, keeping you focused, on task and able to make clear decisions.
With a new year on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start constructing (or revisit) your marketing plan. Refocus, refresh and regenerate with our 8-step guide below. Get your team involved with the process and get ready for a whole bunch of rhetorical questions. You can also download our free business strategy and marketing plan tool here to get the creative juices flowing.
1. Set your business objective.
This is a critical piece of the puzzle as it will inform the remainder of your marketing plan.
- What does success look like for your business?
- E.g. to become the leading floristry provider in Victoria.
2. Reflect on the year that was.
This will allow you to make well informed decisions about your marketing plan moving forward.
- Based on the past year, what do you anticipate the challenges to be for the upcoming year (both internally and within your industry)?
3. Identify (or redefine) your target audience.
Do this in detail to deeply understand why those people need your product / service. It’s also crucial to review your previously identified target audience to highlight any developments.
- What are your audiences’ interests and problems?
- Has your audience changed or evolved over the past year?
- Does your product / service offering need to evolve with your audience in order to better meet their needs?
4. List your marketing goals.
Be intent about the marketing goals you put in place to reach your business objective. You should set anywhere between 4 to 6 goals for a 12-month period.
- Consider how each individual goal contributes to your overall objective?
- E.g. improving the lifetime value of existing customers contributes to the objective by encouraging repeat business.
5. Time to strategise.
Give yourself the best chance to reach your marketing goals, and therefore your business objective.
- What tactics will you undertake for each individual goal?
- You should have multiple tactics per goal.
- E.g. implement a customer loyalty system and create Google display remarketing ads.
6. Set your marketing budget.
Understanding where you are in the business lifecycle will help determine your budget.
- Are you in start-up phase or an established business?
- Check out our blog – how much budget should I allocate for marketing? – for more information.
7. Stay accountable.
Regularly measure the results of your tactics to get an idea if you’re on track to reach your goal. It’s essential to tweak your marketing plan as the year goes on to better land at your objective.
- Are your measures realistic for your current business position?
- E.g. $1,000 revenue from previous customers per month and 20 sales through Google referral per month.
8. Have one eye on your competitors.
Keeping your finger on the pulse with competitors is important to recognise how this positions you in the market.
- What are your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses and strategies?
- Can you learn anything from your competitors?
- What sets your business apart?
Once you have your marketing plan ready, it’s time for the exciting stuff – execution! Before your journey kicks off, remember to acknowledge that marketing is not a quick fix. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Building the right foundations with a solid marketing plan is the best way to start, then after some good old fashion hard work, you’ll start to build the momentum you’re looking for.