Designing an Effective Marketing Plan
Business marketing entails all the activities that a business does in communicating the value of its products and services to other people or businesses. It involves online and offline promotions. Business marketing allows businesses to sell services or products to other organizations that resell them or use them to support their operations; also known as business-to-business marketing. It is also referred to as industrial marketing.
Every entrepreneur knows about a business plan. However, they overlook the importance of a marketing plan. The primary focus of a marketing plan is to win and keep customers, and it includes facts, numbers, strategies, and objectives. A good marketing plan should clearly outline the tools and tactics that the business will use it meet its sales goals. It states what the company will sell, who will buy and the tactics it will apply to generate results in sales. Here is how your business can create a marketing plan.
Begin with a situation analysis
It is the first section, which states the company’s current situation. Here, you indicate the products and services the company deals with and the benefits they offer that set them apart from their competitors. You need to understand your niche market regardless of your industry. Additionally, you need to know what your competitors offer and clearly indicate how your service or product provides a better value.
The situation analysis should give an overview of the strengths, threats, weaknesses, and opportunities. You also need to elaborate external opportunities you capitalize on, like expanding the market for services and goods. Additionally, analyze the features of your products. Describe discount pricing, convenience, and quality of your products
Describe your target market
Define prospects regarding earnings, age, family consumption, lifestyle, sex, and geographic location. It should be a one-paragraph profile representing your prospective customer. Consider the type of market you are targeting. For instance, are your customers willing to spend, are they leaders or followers, as they traditional or modern, are they conservative or innovative, or how often will they buy what you offer.
For a business-to-business marketer, you want to describe your target market based on job title, geographic location, the type of business, size of business among other characteristics. Remember to narrow down your target market in this section because it offers a guideline for public or media relations campaigns.
List the company’s marketing goals
What does your company’s marketing strategy plan to achieve? For instance, your organization may be targeting to achieve a 30% increase in sales at the end of the year. Come up with a short list of these goals. Remember to make measurable goals so that you will be in a position to know when you have met the goals.
Come up with marketing communications strategies
It is the heart of a marketing plan. Previously, you stated your marketing plan objectives. Now you have to identify effective tactics to achieve the prospects and achieve your goals. Some marketing strategies like direct marketing, using a website, public relations, and advertising are a great way of reaching out to cold prospects. Warm prospects are people you have previously been exposed to through your marketing messages or met them personally. You can reach out to your warm prospects through email marketing, loyalty programs, and customer appreciation events. Identify the ideal marketing mix by finding out the media that your target market turns to for information.
Set a marketing budget
You need to set aside a percentage of projected gross sales to the annual marketing budget of the organization. If the venture is starting up, you may have to borrow funds or use newly acquired funds. Avoid a marketing mix that exceeds your budget. Avoid more costly strategies until the business can afford them. Remember never to stop marketing.