By Steven Czyrny
Dive into new market research with a plan. Here are 5 essential elements of a marketing plan you can’t afford to overlook.
When was the last time you documented a marketing strategy for your business?
A documented marketing plan gives your organization a 538% greater chance to be successful than if you didn’t have a formalized plan.
It’s critical to have a plan on paper that holds everyone in your organization accountable. What are the important pieces that you need to include in a marketing plan?
Keep reading to learn more about the elements of a marketing plan that you can’t afford to overlook.
1. Market Research
Too many organizations don’t use data in creating a marketing plan. You want to identify all internal and external opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). That starts by knowing the marketplace.
There are two main ways to conduct market research. You can conduct primary research which gets feedback and data that you collect directly via focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc.; and secondary research which gets feedback and data from previously conducted studies as seen in reports, articles, journals, databases, etc.
2. Audience Segmentation
Your audience is the most important part of your marketing plan. The more you understand their needs and challenges, the more prepared you’ll be to create messaging that they can relate to.
You want to drill down your core audience into segments. For example, your business may target women, which you can segment into women between 18-25 and women 35-45.
How will you position your business against your competition? Will you be the highest quality product on the market?
Your positioning is about how your company is perceived by customers. You can position yourself on price, exclusivity, or value. Marketing can play a huge role in your positioning too, and utilizing a social media consultant can enhance your brand perception.
The strategy you create is the path from Point A to Point B. The strategy will focus on how you plan to get your business in front of your customers. Often times, it makes sense to hire an outside digital agency who has the capacity to create all the content and optimize throughout the campaign.
Within your strategy will be tactics, such as social media marketing or search engine optimization. The strategy and tactics have to be aligned with your target markets.
For example, if your audience is middle-aged or elderly, you’re unlikely to find them on Tik Toc. It would make no sense to market your services there.
Many organizations fail to use KPIs correctly in measuring success. Some organizations track the wrong ones, or they try to track so many that it’s impossible to manage.
You want to have KPIs that are aligned with your goals and objectives of the marketing plan. For example, if one of your goals is to increase website traffic, you have to have a baseline measurement and measurements after the plan is implemented.
The Top Elements of a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan that outlines the goals and strategies of a marketing team is essential to drive the success of the business. Without a written plan, tasks go unchecked, no one is accountable, and tactics are thrown about aimlessly.
When you include these elements of a marketing plan, you have a solid foundation to understand the marketplace and position your business to win more business. You also have a way to measure results and adjust your plan.
Do you want to know more about building a complete marketing strategy? Contact us today.