Everyone is always talking about the importance of having a marketing plan and all the good that it can do for a business. You know this, but how do you go about drawing up this marketing plan?
Marketing is one of the best ways to get a new or older business on the map. It puts you out there and people will notice you. To ensure that a marketing campaign is successful, it needs a lot of planning and thought.
If you follow the steps mentioned below, you will be able to draw up an effective and well structured marketing plan.
Before you can start to draw up a formal marketing plan, you will need to do some form of market research. This will give you an idea of who your customers will be and an idea of their lifestyle. With this you will also be able to determine if it is the right time to release your business, products and services to the public. When you have all this information, you will have a good place to start at.
Once you have established all that you need to know about your market, it is time to start developing your marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is the action plan for your approach to marketing. Another plus of having a marketing plan, is that you can include it in your business plan when you are pitching to investors.
Doing a situation analysis
In this part of your marketing plan, you will give a brief explanation of the current status of your business and the general situation of the market. You will also need to mention the following aspects in your marketing plan.
Explain your target market
You will need to go into detail when you are explaining this part of the marketing plan. You should include things like the lifestyle of your target market, the demographics, needs and habits of your target market. Keep in mind that this section can cover up to 3 pages, so do not worry about writing too much.
Do a SWOT-analysis
Just like with a business plan, your marketing plan also needs to include a SWOT-analysis. You should include all the strengths and weaknesses that you can identify. Furthermore, you should also include all the opportunities and threats that you can think of.
Measuring your competition
Another important thing to take into consideration when you are drawing up a marketing plan is your competition. You should define with which businesses you are going up against. You can also give examples of how you will draw customers to your business. You can also consider providing something extra to your customers, which your competition does not offer. This will give you a competitive advantage over them.
You should also include in this section how your business will differ from your competitors. When you include this, investors will see that you are serious about doing business and that you went through the extra trouble to find ways to be different from your competitors. These differences will even attract customers to your business.
This is just half of the information that you need to include in your marketing plan. Be sure to stay tuned for the second delivery on how to write a marketing plan where we will be discussing marketing strategies and budgeting for your marketing. Be sure not to miss out on this!