I found myself several times in the position of formalization of the marketing plan that I think last forever. Writing a better marketing plan from my experience is not a good document with charts and graphs, but the simple roadmap to achieve overall marketing goals.
I write more about this in Dangers When You are Planning Your Business Plan.
The good marketing plan is based on overall business objects transformed in marketing strategy, not on the titles and stories in that titles.
Marketing Plan Question #1: What is Your Target Market?
Start by searching specifications within the areas you wish to market your business. Each market has different areas that can be divided into segments. When I talk about the area I don’t think about the area as a geometrical surface, but the area as some indicator that differentiates one part of the market from another one. And yes, the question is What is your target market?
- My target market is the area where exist problems that my business can solve it.
- My target market is the area with potential customers that will want to buy my products or services.
- My target market is the area with people willing to pay for my products and services.
- My target market is the area big enough to support the existence and development of my business.
These are four answers that you must answer before you choose your target market:
- Capacity, and maybe the most important
- Yes I can.
Marketing Plan Question #2: What is Your Marketing Objectives?
Now, when you know what is your target market, you must formulate your marketing goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing activities? This is specific three to four sentences that will describe what you want to achieve. If you put more goals, you will lose your focus and it will be harder to accomplish the goals.
Set measurable goals because the implementation will depend on your ability to track progress and measure results. If your goal is general without tangible goals, try to find a way to make them specific. For example:
- 30% market share on our target market in the first year of the plan and 45% in the second year.
- Increased conversion rate from 5% to 10% in the first year and to 15% in the second year.
- Increased entrance into the sales funnel by 10% in the first year and 20% in the second year.
Question #3: What Will be Your Marketing Strategies?
Now, you know your target market, you know the marketing goals, and it’s time to develop strategies that will support the achievement of the goals as a part of your marketing plan.
- How can you achieve marketing goals?
- What do you must do in general terms to make those goals become reality?
For example, if you take the first marketing goal from the example above in the marketing plan you will have something like this:
- 30% market share
- Strategy 1: Perception Improvement.
- Strategy 2: Marketing Campaigns Strengthening
- Strategy 3: Adding More Value in Our Offer.
Marketing Plan Question #4: What Will be Your Marketing Tactics?
Strategies need marketing tactics for the implementation purpose. The tactics will be the set of actions that must be accomplished in order to effectively implement the strategy. For example, if we continue with Strategy 1 we will have something like this:
Strategy 1: Perception Improvement:
- Tactic 1: Increasing online presence of the business.
- Tactic 2: Development and implementation the new customer service policy.
- Tactic 3: Staff training about a customer care system.
Question #5: What Will be Your Marketing Activities?
Each tactic is implemented through real action or activities from the business staff. Now when your marketing plan has a target market, marketing goals, strategies, and tactics it is time to convert those tactics into tangible activities. For example, if we continue with the first tactic we will have something like this:
Tactic 1: Increasing online presence of the business:
- Redesign the web site.
- Development of a business blog.
- Make business profiles on social media.
- Communication with the potential clients.
The Last Thing – Table
If you want to stay focused on the implementation of this marketing plan, a table like this is something that will help you.