Marketing is at the core of building a successful business. At the core of marketing any business is a marketing plan. With a marketing plan, marketing becomes easier and more productive.
What's in this guide?
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a well-mapped idea or strategy which is organized or created to enable marketing to be more effective and efficient. A well-mapped out marketing plan enables you to identify your target audience, understand them and try to figure out how best to attract their attention.
If you don’t want to keep wasting money on marketing without getting results, then, you should have a solid marketing plan. In the following, you’ll find more information about marketing plans, especially how you can create one yourself.
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Types of marketing plan
There are two types of marketing plans, namely; the short-term plan and the long-term plan.
The short-term plan
These are plans that are made for less than a year of marketing activities. They are plans that are normally mapped out yearly or twice a year.
A short-term plan cannot run without a long-term plan. They are plans that are made to solve problems that keep recurring.
The long-term plan
These are plans that are normally made to last for more than a year. It involves strategies and ideas that are mapped out for future implementation for the smooth running of business activities.
Oftentimes, short-term plans are obtained from long-term plans. It normally involves making decisions about the major aspect of the business such as program research, distribution channels, media, advertising channels, etc.
Factors that affect a marketing plan
- Internal factors:
These are factors that are generated by the company itself. It could be company size, financial capability, labor capability, distribution channels, etc.
- Industrial channels:
This has to do with the industrial sector that the company falls under and the factors of that industry such as the size of the industry, competition, technological dynamics of the industry, and the company’s relationship with the industry.
- Natural factors
These are factors that cannot be influenced by individuals such as the region of the company, national income, national policies, etc.
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How to make a Good marketing plan
Since you now understand what marketing plans are, now it is time to find out some of the things to have in mind when trying to make a good marketing plan.
1. Know what you want to Achieve
Before you start going ahead to draft out a marketing plan, you have to figure out what it is you want to get out of the plan, what it is you want the plan to do for you, and how you want the plan to do it.
When you define what your goals and targets are, then you can map out how the plan can help you achieve your goals and meet your targets.
2. Do a Research
Before embarking on any journey, it is very important that you try to make inquiries on how to get to where you are going, the route to follow, and how your destination is.
So also when creating a marketing plan, a lot of research must be done so as not to make a lot of avoidable mistakes.
You need to find out who your customers are. Afterward, analyze and understand your customers, and identify how to get their attention. You need to also find out who your competitors are, how they manage to strive in the industry, how they draw customers, their mode of customer service, and their biggest strengths and weaknesses
3. Know your marketing channels
After you have been able to figure out who your customers are and you understand them properly, the next step is to figure out how and where to market your product, so that it will get to them more effectively.
It is not always easy to figure out the right advertising channels. There are so many channels you can go through such as social media, television, radio, billboards, flyers, banners, blog posts, email, online ads, etc.
You can keep trying the different channels till you figure out which is the most effective so you know which to focus on primarily.
Before any marketing plan can be drafted, you need to look at your state of finance and consider your financial capabilities so you can now “ cut your coat according to your size”.
When you know what your budget is like, you can then determine how to make your plans in such a way that you don’t run into financial problems.
Because, when you know how much you can afford, you’ll stick to the marketing channels that match your budget. This is also important when seeking investors – you can give them a breakdown of how much you have and how much you need to fully achieve your marketing objectives.
As the old saying goes “two heads are better than one”, it is also a good idea for you not to work alone because it gives room for new ideas and also makes the job a whole lot easier – especially when there is a division of labor.
When you have partners, it is also easier to point out things that you might have missed and also correct you when you might have made an obvious mistake.
So you must have an efficient and reliable team of individuals to help you when making your plans.
6. Get help
When making your business plan, it is not a bad idea to seek help either from someone who has done it successfully before or from professionals who specialize in creating and drafting effective marketing plans.
Seeking advice from individuals who are striving in the industry in which you’re trying to fit yourself might give you a great edge because they already know how the industry works, and the ups and downs of the industry. They will also help you not to make some of the mistakes they might have made when they just started.
There are also individuals whose jobs are to create effective marketing plans. They will help you with all the research and analysis and come up with the best business plan they feel best suits your business. With that, you can take all the work involved off your head.
If you have been trying to create your marketing plan and don’t understand what it is or how to go about It, I hope this simple article will make things easier for you. If you have any questions, you can reach out in the comment section.