So many businesses (big AND small) don’t have a marketing plan, and when we ask why, we get two common answers: they have no time to put one together or they don’t know how to put one together. We can help you with both of those problems just with this simple piece of information…writing a marketing plan is as easy as making a to do list. Now are you ready to write a marketing plan?
Keep in mind this is a very basic template, but it’s a start, and that’s better than nothing.
Step 1 – Target an audience.
Answer these questions:
1. Who is your target audience?
2. Describe this audience (age, gender, location, likes/dislikes, etc.).
3. What words would you use to describe your product or service to this audience?
Step 2 – What’s unique about your product or service?
Think about your product or service in comparison to what else is out there. Why does your target audience NEED your business? This identifier will become your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Need an example of a USP you’re familiar with? Well, here in Wichita, we all know Spangles “just tastes better.” Your USP doesn’t necessarily have to be your tagline, you just need to know and describe what makes your business unique.
Step 3 – Write down your goals.
You can list as many goals here as you want, but it’s best to try and limit yourself to something like three to five goals. This will be more manageable for you and a more realistic target. Think about goals like increasing your number of customers, being more successful, or having more time for fun. Goals aren’t necessarily specific or measurable. They are also something to strive for over a longer period of time. You might set new goals every year or maybe every three years.
Step 4 – Make a list of specific things you can do to achieve each goal individually. These are your objectives.
Let’s look at the goal of increasing your number of customers. You’ll want to make a list of the steps you will take to achieve this. It could include things like starting a social media presence, getting more involved in the community, and/or targeting a very specific market with special promotions. These are your objectives. Objectives are measurable and they always support your goals.
Step 5 – Time to think about the logistics.
Just like you did with Steps 3 and 4, you’ll need to break down each objective into a to do list. Let’s look at creating a social media presence. Think about all the steps you need to take to make this happen and write them down. Your list could look something like this:
GOAL: Increase number of customers.
OBJECTIVE: Start a Social Media Presence
- Read more about Social Media Marketing.
- Create a Facebook Fan Page for my business.
- Add photos of my products to the Facebook Page and choose one to serve as my Cover Photo.
- Set Logo as Profile Picture.
- Invite people to LIKE my page.
- Include Facebook URL on all my advertising and remind customers to follow me on Facebook.
As you can see, this is just a simple to do list for your business. So easy!
Step 6 – Add dates to each item on your list.
The hardest part about this last step is being realistic with your deadlines. Give yourself enough time to reasonably complete each step, but don’t wait so long that you’ll put it all off for another day. And always come back to this list maybe once per week to make sure you’re on target and meeting all your deadlines in a reasonable amount of time. This document should be a “working document” so make changes, add to, and delete whenever you need. Nothing is written in stone!
Some business marketing plans are fancy. They contain graphs and charts with big numbers and pretty pictures, but your first marketing plan doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to get something in writing. Once you do this once, the next time around will be super easy because you’ll follow the same steps. And actually the most important take away here is that you FOLLOW YOUR PLAN! As long as you do it, your plan is a success!
Need more information about getting started with a marketing plan or want some assistance? Contact us! We write some killer marketing plans that are super easy to follow.