How do you tell your company’s story? You’ve made a business plan, but creating marketing plan is just as vital to the success of your marketplace. A marketing plan is a vital part of acquiring and maintaining customers, which includes specific objectives to measure your efforts.
Your marketing plan is your plan of action that you’ll use to map out your approach to achieving your sales goals. Entrepreneur maps out 5 steps to creating a successful and actionable marketing plan.
Step 1: Situational analysis
Positioning your product or service within the market requires an intimate understanding of your target audience and your competitors. Identify what your competition is doing, as well as the gap they are leaving open for you to provide more value.
Your situational analysis should list your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in order to understand where you can differentiate from your competitors.
Step 2: Describe your target audience
In one paragraph, describe the characteristics and demographics of your potential customer. List information such as age, sex, family composition, earnings and geographic location and lifestyle.
Taking this a step further, you can make highly targeted profiles called buyer personas that will help you plan your media and public relations campaigns.
Step 3: Marketing goals
What do you want to achieve with your marketing plan? Write down a list of goals to work towards. They should be measurable so you can tell when you achieve them, and when to adjust your strategy if you’re falling short.
Step 4: Marketing strategies & tactics
Outline your primary marketing strategies, then include a list of tactics you’ll use to reach prospective customers at every point in the buyer’s journey. These tactics should include things like social media, email, PR, loyalty programs, sponsoring events, etc.
To narrow down your ideal marketing mix, identify which media your target audience uses most. The marketing tactics should reach your prospects when they are most receptive to your message.
Step 5: Marketing budget
Identify the percentage of projected gross sales to your annual marketing budget. When starting your marketplace, this might mean using newly acquired funding, borrowing or self-financing. Just remember that marketing is absolutely essential to the success of your marketplace. And with so many different kinds of tactics available for reaching out to every conceivable audience niche, there’s a mix to fit even the smallest budget.
Let us know how we can help you create your marketing plan in the comments below.