Did you have a vision when you started your business? Is your marketing plan helping that vision come to fruition?
By focusing on your vision when creating and implementing your marketing plan, you are more likely to see that plan succeed. The key components of your plan should be actioned and followed consistently to ensure you achieve your ultimate goal – your vision.
While keeping your vision in sight, consider the following elements essential for inclusion in your marketing plan:
a) Know and understand your target market and your product/service.
How will you satisfy your customers’ wants/needs? Where will you position yourself in the market?
b) Research and analyse your competition; find out their strengths and weaknesses.
Do a SWOT analysis and focus on your strengths to differentiate your product and stand apart from your rivals.
c) Set measurable goals and objectives.
You may, for example, plan to achieve 20 sales or recruit 5 clients in any given month. Alternatively, you may plan to secure a 5% profit on your bottom line for a specific quarter. These are not vague goals; they are specific and measurable.
d) Keep your plan focused, concise and to the point.
Don’t complicate your plan by including non-specific variables – you will only cause confusion. This is not to say you don’t include all that are pertinent!
e) Review and update your plan on a consistent basis.
It is often said that a bad marketing plan that is consistently followed through is better than a good plan that isn’t followed! Bare this in mind. Who in your company is going to be responsible for ensuring your plan is carried out, reviewed and any changes actioned?
Your marketing plan should be flexible enough to take into account unforeseen changes in market forces. You may, for example, have to reconsider your price, distribution or your service provision. Perhaps you haven’t quite realised your objectives within your stated timetable, in which case you may have to revise and review these and set new ones.Your marketing plan may not be set in stone but your vision should be!