A marketing plan is typically an extension of your business plan, and includes pretty much everything you need to know in order to promote your business to the world at large. It will generally detail the steps by which you plan to achieve that promotion, and it usually covers a span of a single year. The one-year marketing plan covers a long enough period of time that longer-range objectives can be achieved.
It’s also short enough that it can retain flexibility when circumstances and objectives have to be modified. There are a number of different approaches to marketing, but most of them will involve the same kinds of operations. The ultimate goal of marketing is to get your message to potential customers, and to convert them into paying customers. Here’s how you go about that.
Creating different types of marketing plans
There are a number of different ways you can approach marketing, all of which have enjoyed various levels of success. Paid advertising takes in several different strategies itself, including the purchase of radio and television spots to disseminate your message. You can also pay for advertising which appears on the Internet and for print media advertising.
Cause marketing, sometimes referred to as cause-related marketing, links the company’s services and products to some kind of prevalent social issue or cause. Relationship marketing focuses on building relations with customers, and in attempting to improve customer loyalty. Stealth marketing involves marketing products while customers are unaware of the underlying strategy.
Word-of-mouth marketing relies on impressions left with people, and the hope that favorable impressions will generate a domino effect among potential customers. Internet marketing is sometimes also called cloud marketing, and includes all those activities promoted over the Internet, e.g. via social media and other channels.
Transactional marketing involves the traditional selling process, wherein retailers try to encourage sales by providing discounts, coupons, and large sales events. Diversity marketing integrates multiple marketing strategies and touches on many different aspects such as attitudes, beliefs, cultural traditions, and other potential customer needs.
What to include in your marketing plan
It’s really important that you include all the necessary components in your marketing plan, whatever approach you decide to take. The first element you need to have included in your plan is a clear identification of your target market. You need to know exactly who you will be pitching your products to, because this group of individuals should constitute your most likely buyers. This may be the most important single element of your marketing plan, because it identifies specifically who you will be selling to.
The next thing you’ll need is a positioning statement, which is something that makes you unique from your competitors. It clarifies what your products will provide that your competitors cannot, and why your target audience should choose you. Then you need to decide what kind of value you can provide to potential customers that none of your competitors can offer. What can you give them that none of your rivals can? For your product to have real value to them, it must make them believe it is worth more than the monetary investment they have made.
You should also include marketing goals within your plan, and these should be in alignment with your overall business goals which have already been set forth. What is it that you hope to achieve through your marketing strategies which will enhance and advance the goals you originally identified in your business plan? Some kind of pricing strategy should be included in your marketing plan, as well as any variations you might consider from standard pricing. You may want to offer discounts or stage sales events which will be separate from your normal pricing strategy.
Another one of the must-have elements of your marketing plan includes your overall budgeting. This will of course have a major impact on how you carry out your marketing plan. Ideally, this plan should be broken down into monthly allotments, and you should try to stick to this monthly budgeting. Even a fairly small budget can achieve remarkable results, if you have an enthusiastic and dedicated marketing team.
The one-page marketing plan
The one-page marketing plan is a concept which has gained popularity recently because of its simplicity and its relevance to the task. It really does fit on a single page, and while it doesn’t introduce anything radical, it’s still very effective. Here are the steps involved in creating a one-page marketing plan:
- Identify a very specific niche target market – by narrowing down your target market, you will be left with an audience which has great interest in your products and services, and you’ll have depth within your chosen market.
- Produce a message appropriate for your market – this involves getting directly into the heads of your customers, and knowing what their problems and pain points are, then addressing them with your message.
- Reach out to your prospects – use whatever advertising media will be most effective for reaching your target audience.
- Capture leads – either by using some kind of opt-in where you acquire email addresses, or by filling out your CRM system, get a good number of leads to work with.
- Nurture your leads – devise a great strategy for following up with the leads you’ve acquired, making sure that it delivers value to them.
- Convert your leads – in this step, you take your leads from the awareness phase into the trust phase, where they’re prepared to spend money on your products.
- Deliver tremendous value – go beyond the ordinary and provide a top-notch experience to your customers.
- Establish lifetime customer loyalty – it’s very important to retain your existing customers, because it’s much harder to acquire new ones. Continue to deliver value to your customers, and you will promote loyalty.
- Develop a referral system – define a specific process by which you obtain referrals, rather than just hoping for them.
How Studio MFP fits into your marketing plan
Studio MFP provides services and products at every level of your marketing plan. We can provide lead generating services like SEO and social media advertising, brand boosting and credibility building services like brand management, social media, and graphic design; or even referral services. Contact us to work on a marketing plan together.