7 Steps to Building a Successful Marketing Plan
A powerful marketing plan is essential for a brand’s success. This is what I’ve learnt over past few years of my marketing, communications and design journey. Today’s marketing is more towards establishing emotional and personal connections. You need to reach to the heart of your audience through messaging, graphic design, web design, copywriting, branding, advertising and authentic conversations to drive good results.
Here is a 7-step guide to build a successful marketing plan:
You need to define your objective from the marketing campaign, else how will you get to know that you have succeeded. Jot down specific achievable goals and timeline to complete them. The definition of success will be different for different companies depending on the type of business. It may mean achieving ‘X’ number of dollars in terms of sales, having X number of people attending your event or converting X number of people visiting your website. Whatever metric you’re going to use, make sure to define it clearly.
Define your Audience
Try to find out who is most likely to buy your services and products and why. Stop making assumptions. You should ask your prospective and current customers what their needs are and listen to them carefully. Understand what their pain points are so that you can include a solution in the messaging.
Build a Profile and Prioritize
Draw a clear picture of the person you will be serving: age, gender, likes/dislikes, shopping habits, buying habits, location, lifestyle, gross income etc. It will tell you who to invest in and who will be a waste of time. It can even tell you who can really afford you and who is ready to buy your products/services.
Create a list of locations or strategic partnerships helping you maximize your visibility and success. Partnerships can fetch you new customers and fill in the gaps with services or products you don’t offer. This can ultimately maximize your visibility and marketing success.
Budget & Prioritize
You must plan to spend more in new areas of marketing. The spent-on marketing is increasing, and this trend is expected to continue for several years. In general, a few studies show that B2B spend less than B2C companies.
Create, Craft and Implement
You must craft your messaging or other marketing collaterals keeping your ideal customers in mind. If you can’t afford to hire professionals for getting content crafted, use available resources and network. Pay for few hours of consulting, offer to buy lunch and look for other online options.
Measure Results, Adjust and Repeat
Measure your results over the time, Analyze them for their weakness and strengths. Get customer feedback. Ask them what made them purchase or not purchase. Based on these results, adjust your strategy, methods or messages and repeat.
The Bottom Line
You must keep in mind that marketing is not sales. You need to follow up and close the deals on the leads you’ve generated. Come up with a follow-up plan on how, you’ll turn those leads into sales. Don’t let your hard work and money to go waste.