Regardless of what industry you’re in or what products or services you sell, all new businesses must put themselves in front of as many potential customers as possible. However, a successful marketing campaign never begins with a shotgun approach, so it’s vital your company takes the time to write a marketing plan before commencing your marketing efforts. This plan will help you kickstart your company’s growth, give you measurable results, and help you and your team stay on track.
Step 1: Ensure you’ve identified your ideal customer
For more established businesses this will be a step you can skip, but you may be surprised by how many businesses (even those that have been operating for more than two years) don’t have a clear idea about whom they serve or what makes them special. If your answer to this question is anyone and everyone who comes to us, especially if you are a service-based business, it’s time to reconsider. Know who they are, what problems they have, and what they want in as much detail as you can.
Step 2: And your brand’s unique qualities
You should also know what it is your company represents, and what it does better than any other company so that you can emphasise these points during your marketing and advertising. Try not to be everything to everyone, especially during marketing campaigns. You can’t be the best at quality, speed, price all at once. Pick one and aim to be the absolute best in your industry. Try to find the thing about the brand that your customers love and connect with and put that front and centre in your marketing to attract more of those customers. If you’re just starting up, take educated guesses and work with trial and error to find your special qualities.
Step 3: What is the purpose of your marketing plan?
The purpose of your marketing shouldn’t be as broad as “get more sales”. Even if that is the ultimate goal of every marketing effort, try to make it much more specific. You may just want to raise awareness of your brand upon launch, with any sales coming secondary to getting in front of as many of your ideal prospects as possible or launch a new product. Perhaps your competition has made a big move and you need to plan on how to combat and compete. Find a specific issue your company is facing and write a plan that will attack it.
Step 4: Make it measurable
One of the major purposes of your marketing plan is to give you something tangible to strive for – solid figures to track. Having measurable metrics is truly the only way to not only measure the success of your efforts but to give you a defined end to each plan so that you can define and move onto a new goal. If you are working within a defined time frame instead, then you’ll know how successful you were against what you’d aimed for, and what you could do better next time.
Step 5: Set a budget
It’s important to value every pound and not spend without purpose. Work within your budget and test first before scaling. The goal is to maximise your ROI (return on investment). Businesses that do this better than their customers operate on much higher profit margins and are ultimately more successful, so make sure you don’t just throw down an estimate and move on.
Step 6: Distribute the plan to the team and keep them accountable
Everyone in the team should be dedicated, in some way, to the marketing plan and feel responsible for their part in it. Lead them forward and reward achievement. Utilize tools like Monday.com and Asana to delegate tasks and give each team member the opportunity to tick their tasks off the list.
Remember that whatever your plan, it’s not set in stone and you don’t have to see something through if it is absolutely not working. You need to give campaigns time to take hold, but if you can see something is wrong with your efforts, bring it back and start again. One of the best things about being a new business is your ability to stay flexible and learn quickly from your mistakes. Review your marketing plan regularly, like every quarter, to make sure it is still serving the business.