Every business needs a plan—even if they don’t know it. While sales plans are undoubtedly focused on generating revenue, marketing plans centre on how to attract customers and create a loyal fan base. Both aspects are interlinked, with marketing going an extra mile to increase brand presence, visibility, and engagement. This mechanism helps you plan for your brand’s future.
While every marketing plan will have an element of research and strategy, your marketing plan can also be creative, allowing you to create a plan that’s tailor-made for your business. In this guide, I will walk you through everything you should know about creating a marketing plan for your business.
What is Business Marketing?
To create a successful business marketing strategy, you must first comprehend what business marketing entails. Business marketing is the practice of planning and implementing strategic initiatives to attract and convince people to purchase your products or promote your brand, ideas, events, or services.
The strategies may include advertising and promoting, public relations, direct mail, sales promotion, and sponsoring events, to mention a few.
Who Needs a Business Marketing Plan?
Anyone who is looking to attract, build or maintain customers and brand loyalty for their business. No matter what industry you operate in, a marketing plan can benefit you: From start-ups to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), to corporations, everyone needs a plan.
When you have a plan in place, it becomes easier to make data-driven decisions in your business, including marketing and advertising. You can weigh your decisions to select the most beneficial option. Plus, tracking results becomes more feasible.
Assessing Your Current Business Position
Before crafting a marketing business plan, you need to know where your business stands. Here are some factors to consider.
Defining Your Brand and Offers
Whether you’re planning for a new product line or seeking to differentiate yourself, defining your brand and its mission is the first step. This begins by defining your unique proposition. The unique proposition is your brand’s selling point (distinguishing feature) – what people will be able to get out of your brand.
If you’re considering making a product change, or you’re launching a new brand, define your target market first. Next, you need to define your brand’s positioning statement. This is your company’s tagline and mission statement in a single sentence. These factors will come in handy when drafting a business plan.
Among other things, you should know how to make an MLA title page, alongside other format styles that will make your business plan document presentable.
Knowing Your Customers
When it comes to a marketing plan, customers are everything. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, customer support platforms, and loyalty programs are just a few examples of tools to help you monitor and interact with your current customers.
How will you reach out to your current customers? Will they be targeted with online ads or a newsletter? Do you have a physical location? Will you run a special event and provide an incentive for customers? These questions will not only help you identify them but also reach them effectively.
Steps to Creating a Business Marketing Plan
A business plan shows your investor or partners the idea you want to pursue. It provides a blueprint for your business. To create one you need to:
Conduct Market Research
A strong business plan begins with an understanding of your market. It is critical that you do extensive market research to gain insight into your target audience and your competitors. Start by identifying your audience’s needs and wants of your target audience, including price, functionality, appearance, and ease of use. In addition, compare your products and offers to those of your competitors and see how you can improve them.
List Your Business Goals
Your marketing plan should include your business goals, which addresses factors necessary for your business to grow and succeed. It shouldn’t solely centre on your target customers but also areas in your current business structure that might be ailing.
Your business goals can cover areas, like target market, market share, products and services, market segmentation, and target profit margins. The more specific you are about your goals, the better your chances are of achieving them.
Incorporate Business Strategies
Brainstorm your business offers and objectives with emphasis on the marketing techniques. The following are examples of possible strategies:
- Social media marketing
- Paid advertising
- Email advertising
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
Know how each marketing technique drives your business towards your goals. Keep in mind that your goals and your marketing strategies must be closely linked. If your marketing tactic doesn’t lead you to achieve your goals then it’s a waste of time.
Factor in Your Budget
First, decide what amount of funding you need to get your business off the ground. A budget is a guide for you to use as you implement your marketing strategies. Your marketing budget can either be a fixed amount or a percentage of your total budget.
To get the results you are aiming for, you have to implement a variety of marketing strategies, which stem from a creatively crafted business plan. If your marketing tactic doesn’t lead to a better bottom line, it’s time to update or replace it. A successful marketing strategy is only successful if it produces measurable results.