Why do I need a marketing plan? – Am I just creating it for the sake of having one? – Will I ever use it? The simple answer to this is, just like your daily job and personal life involve planning, so does your business! Apart from having a top-notch business plan, it’s also key to have a strong marketing strategy to help your business achieve its goals and grow.
Many prospects reach out to my team at Bold x Collective asking if it’s really worth investing in a marketing plan and how it’s going to help their business. My answer is always yes!
With that being said, we’ll be discussing exactly why you need a marketing plan and how it can help you achieve your long-term goals.
Let’s start with the basics…
What Is a Marketing Strategy?
A marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the best opportunities to increase lead generation and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. A marketing plan consists of your business’ unique value proposition, customer data, branding guidelines, SMART goals, and much more, which we will be discussing.
When we create a strong marketing plan, we focus on four pillars that companies use to build their marketing strategies. These include:
And if you’re wondering why you need a marketing strategy, here are some of the reasons:
- More leads
- Stand out amongst your competitors
- Gain market share
- Take advantage of the opportunity to develop and grow
- Increase customer retention and engagement
- Have a smart execution of processes
If that hasn’t convinced you, keep on reading for specifics.
1. Your Marketing Strategy Will Help You Set Clear Business Guidelines
One of the most important tasks of a strong marketing strategy is to set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based) goals and objectives.
Some questions to ask yourself when creating SMART goals include:
- What are some of the things to increase traffic to your website?
- What are the sales funnels you currently use?
- What methods can you include in your daily workflow to help your business achieve your goals?
- How do you use current branding to attract new customers? What does your business currently use to gain a loyal following?
- How do you define your unique value proposition?
- How do you stay ahead of your competitors?
In order to be able to answer the above questions, you need a marketing strategy, which will be the one to answer these questions. This will help you set up SMART long-term and short-term goals.
2. Marketing Can Help You Understand Your Target Audience Better
A marketing strategy should always focus on target audiences and customers. It can help you better understand your target market. Market segmentation is very important when I come to establishing a relevant audience for your business and products or services. In order to make your customers happy, you need to understand what they want.
This is where analytical tools come in play. Analytics are all numbers, so they give you the technical part of the business. Our favourite way to consume analytics is through Google Analytics. It gives you all of the important information about your website traffic, like bounce rate, conversions, time spent on the website and more.
Now, analytics are amazing, but they do not portray the emotional side of your customers. That is where you need to understand your target audience better; you need to understand their pain points.
Here are some of the steps you can take to better understand the emotional side of your target audience:
- Define your target demographics – apart from the marketing plan, this can also be very helpful with social media, content marketing, building an advertising strategy, and knowing what types of influencers you may want to partner with.
- Segment your market; this means you are breaking your audience into segments – geographical, demographic, psychographic and behavioral, etc.
- Use marketing calendars so you know what the best times are to reach your target audience on various channels
- Build brand authenticity! Be real and tell stories. Now more than ever, people value authenticity and it’s also a great way to communicate your brand’s story and selling proposition.
These are all key when it comes to better understanding your target audience through a marketing plan.
3. Your Marketing Plan Can Help Allocate Tasks Amongst Your Team and Outsource Efforts Where Required
At Bold x Collective, we have run into many situations where we would meet companies that have a hard-working marketing team but are unable to achieve the results they desire. We always tell them that if their business has reached this point, it is crucial to revisit their marketing strategy and decide on revisions.
With a strong marketing plan, you can figure out how to better divide the workload into tasks that can be managed better. With this marketing plan, you can delegate specific tasks to each employee, and if additional assistance is needed, you can hire a reliable digital agency.
As discussed, a marketing plan is made up of several different roles. Some of the ones you need to focus on include:
- The team that develops an SEO strategy for your website
- The social media marketing team and their daily tasks along with results
- The content marketing team, and how the content is scheduled and created
- The advertising team that will focus on running SEM/PPC ads
These are a few of the many jobs required for a strong marketing plan, but once you have it set up and organized amongst your team, it will be a seamless process.
4. A Good Marketing Plan Will Help You Figure Out Which Tools You Need to Invest in
Marketing tools can be expensive, and that is why it’s important to create a marketing plan which will help you decide which tech and tools are worth the investment and will provide your strategy with the most benefits.
Some services which require marketing tools include:
- SEO tools
- Paid ads
- Investing in influencers
- Analytical tools
- Social media scheduling tools
- Online advertising
When considering which tools are worth it in the long run, you will need to better understand your business tasks, marketing objectives, processes, and more, and this will help you better understand the investments that will be required.
5. Marketing Is a Great Way to Tell Your Business Story
Business storytelling – it is a very important component of your marketing strategy. You have two goals to achieve with a marketing plan: 1) Define your business storytelling tactics and 2) Communicate your business’ story across all the right platforms.
You want to build a compelling brand story and market it correctly. This is what is going to help your target audience understand your business story and differentiate your brand from your competition.
6. Any Professional Business Will Have a Marketing Plan
Every professional business understands that they need to successfully reach their target audience, in order for them to be a profitable company. In order for your clients to stay up to date with your company, you need to have the right channels to give them daily updates, news and product or service announcements. You want to have a top-notch strategy that will want to keep them engaged and wanting to come back for more.
7. We Like to Compare Your Marketing Plan to a “Reality Check”
Unfortunately, many companies fail because they do not have a marketing plan in place. The world is changing every day; digital is changing every day. In fact, we just saw this with the worldwide pandemic. Some businesses were able to adapt and adjust their marketing plans, meanwhile some did not, and ended up suffering. It is crucial to have a marketing plan in-place and be ready to adapt and adjust when it is necessary.
Create a Marketing Plan
If you haven’t already guessed, it… it’s time to start working on your marketing plan! Marketing is your ticket to success against your competitors, and you want to stand out. If you want to be bold with your marketing strategy, our team at Bold x Collective is here to help you create a strong marketing plan to tell your story to your target audience.