There is no right way to make a marketing plan, as every company has different products and customers. However, the work should start with getting to know your company’s business, strategy, and goals. The year clock is a widespread habit, but the plan must adapt to the times and have flexibility. You can add more effectiveness to your marketing efforts by breaking down your marketing plan into smaller sections with several cornerstones. Both management and monitoring are made more accessible for smaller entities.
An SME’s marketing plan does not have to be complex or lengthy. Still, it should include information on marketing schedules, responsibilities, markets and competitors, measures and their objectives, development, and coordination. The main thing is that the marketing plan is made systematically and is constantly updated. The design work is divided into two parts: strategic and operational planning. In this blogging, we’ll cover strategic planning.
Starting point analysis
Strategic planning should start with a starting point analysis. Its purpose is to map your own company’s situation and the market. The analysis’s goal is to clearly know who your customers are and where they are. Baseline analysis includes company, market, competitor, and environmental analyses. Finally, everything is put together to conclude. From my experience, I know that SME resources are on the map, but it’s worth spending enough time on these analyses to stay even at some level on the map of where to go regarding your business and market.
The company analysis assesses the company’s internal functionality in terms of the company’s organization, expertise, and resources. The study should go through the current overall situation of your company, finance, marketing, product development, production, logistics, and personnel.
The business analysis aims to find out where we are going now. The purpose of marketing analysis is to find out how marketing has been handled so far and what results have been achieved.
The market analysis aims to answer questions about the market, purchasing behavior, market changes, and the direction of market development. The analysis should review the market situation, size, customers, purchasing behavior, buying potential, and modifications compared to the previous period. For example, the Boston Matrix is a good tool for doing market analysis.
An essential part of the marketing plan is to decide which target group or groups the company’s marketing will be aimed at. Before you can decide on the target group, this requires segmentation. As you cannot determine the target group (s) without segmentation, and strategies should not be created without the selected target group, segmentation is crucial. That is the beginning of everything. That is why it has its song dedicated to it.
Every SME needs to do segmentation so you can choose the right audience for your business without throwing those scarce resources where you happen and lose money.
Segmentation is used to create a market map of the entire market with numbers, from which you can see briefly all the market segments (size, return potential in euros, own market share). It is followed by one of the most critical strategic decisions, i.e., selecting the target group. The smaller you dare to limit the number of your target audience, the easier it will be to market in a way that appeals to your target audience. The aim is to identify customers who use the same selection criteria or behave similarly. Identifying the needs and desires of a selected segment will help you plan and make productive marketing communications. Read more detailed instructions on segmentation here.
The marketing strategy is the most important and often the only written strategy of an SME. The marketing strategy provides an answer to how you will achieve the goals. Where to play and how to win.
For example, if the goal is to increase sales, the strategy will determine how to acquire new customers. Conquering new markets? Expanding to new customer groups? By increasing one-time purchases from existing customers or having customers buy more often and adding a product range?
So, there are plenty of options. In addition, your company’s marketing strategy should answer the following questions.
- What target groups are you targeting (segmentation & targeting)? Where to play
- What are the needs of your target group?
- What are the ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors (positioning)? How to win
- What is your growth strategy?
- How do you price your product/service?
- Do you compete on quality, price, or a superior customer experience?
- What message tips do you use to sell your product/service?
When developing a marketing strategy, you should also consider your target group’s needs and how exactly your company will meet them. Why buy from you and not a competitor? You can answer all these questions by making a marketing strategy. Read here for instructions on creating a marketing strategy, or order a free online strategy course here.
Objectives as part of a marketing strategy
Goal setting is an essential part of your marketing strategy. Your business needs goals, so the action isn’t a search shoot pulled by the feel. At this point, every marketer will ask what’s a good plan. More sales? Yes, that’s the correct answer because the only job in marketing and sales is to increase sales ultimately.What exactly is your customers’ journey to make a final purchase decision? Building a purchase pipeline will help to outline the whole. However, remember that these are only theoretical models, and you need to develop your buying pipe as it is. If the goal is set at the wrong point in the buying pipe, you can add almost no sales despite the investments. Therefore, it is essential to identify the things you can improve or money lost to appropriately direct marketing resources. Misdirected resources do not increase sales. About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.