How to write your 2021 marketing plan for business growth
Running a business can be daunting. Balancing accounts, maintaining inventory levels, satisfying old customers and finding new ones. If you own a small business and you intend to grow, finding new customers is critical to the growth of your business.
To acquire new customers, you need more than just a few referrals; you need effective and targeted marketing. As with anything else in life, to get positive results, you need to map out exactly what you would like to achieve.
In my previous blog, I shared marketing strategy tips for small businesses but now i want to delve a bit deeper and show you how you can write your marketing plan in just a few simple steps.
1. Understand your business
What products or services do you offer? What problems do your product/services solve? This will enable you determine how best to showcase your business. This is called "Situation Analysis" and it should contain a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) on your business.
You need to understand the sector or industry your business falls into, so you can easily determine what opportunities are open to you. Follow this up by listing the challenges you may encounter with each opportunity. This will give you a complete 360 view of your business.
2. Outline Clear and Measurable Goals and Objectives
The first thing to do is to decide what your goals and objectives are. What do you hope to achieve with your marketing plan? Perhaps you wish to break into a new market, increase sales, attract a new demographic or create awareness for a new product. Please write it down.
Whatever your goals are, ensure that they're SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). For example, instead of just "increasing sales," be clear on the specifics or % growth you would like to hit and when you want to hit this milestone.
For example, "Increase sales by 25% in 6 months" can be broken down further to more specific goals such as adding 50 new customers per month for the next 6 months, increasing each customer's spend by 5% in 2 months, etc.
3. Determine Relevant KPIs
Relevant Key Performance Indexes or metrics are needed to help you monitor your progress and determine if you're on track or in need of adjustments. KPIs differ depending on the nature of your business; they could be sales records, product return rates or referral rates, essentially any computable index that can be used to monitor progress and determine effectiveness.
4. Define your target market
What demographic does your product appeal to? Your marketing plan has to be tailored to them as there are hardly effective one-size-fits-all techniques. Your target market could be determined by gender, lifestyle, location or age. For younger people, social media and the internet has the best reach. Older people might require a more traditional approach.
5. Assess your current marketing plan
Now that you've set your goals alongside deadlines assess your current methods and rate their effectiveness. Find out where you have challenges, what parts of your business has remained stagnant? what has regressed and why? Discovering where you're lacking will enable you to ensure that the same problems do not plague your new plan.
6. Conduct market research
What product is leading the market and why? Find out what your competitors are doing and what's working for them. You may either be able to mirror their techniques with your own spin, or you may be able to find the flaws in their methods and improve upon them to aid your growth. This will help you identify your business's most attractive opportunities, including efficient marketing channels and other marketing tactics.
Marketing your product efficiently demands an understanding of your market. You need
to know your competitors well and also be able to show how your product/service offers greater value than theirs.
7. Determine your budget
Effective marketing typically comes at a cost, both monetary and time costs. Determine what you're willing and able to invest in your marketing strategy. How many hours a week you'll dedicate to your goals, and what assets you'll be willing and able to employ. It is also very wise to allocate a % of your revenue to invest in marketing activities.
8. Make a list of marketing tools
Depending on your budget and goals, make a list of potential marketing tools. If you're able, you may consider running local ads on YouTube or local websites, investing in SEO for your website or maybe hiring a third party to run some aspects of it for you, such as social media pages and email marketing. If you cannot afford this, then you must be willing to invest plenty of your own time into it to get results.
Digital marketing is perhaps the most utilised and efficient type of marketing today. Google runs a free Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course that'll teach you how to navigate the world of digital marketing tools.
9. Create your plan
Create a plan and a schedule to use your chosen tools to achieve your listed goals. Make a scale of preference ranking your objectives in order of importance. This step is important because creating an easily visible list will ensure you have something to reference whenever you work on your marketing.
10. Assess, Adjust, Reassess
To unlock the continuous growth potential of your business, you have to put in consistent. This means utilising your KPIs to track your progress and ensure your methods are effective. Overhaul and tweak any parts with subpar results and implement your new methods to correct the problems and repeat the process.
Implementing these simple steps listed above is a great starting point to ensure you remain focused and aligned with your business goals. This will definitely get you positive results but if you are struggling to articulate these steps for your business and require additional support, then let us help you.
At Growth Hacks, we offer branding, marketing and consultation services. We do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on running your business. If you require any of our services or need more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message on the live chat bubble, and we'll get back to you with the best techniques and strategies to boost your business.
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Oyinda Bishi is a marketing expert and founder of Growth Hacks.