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The 5 Keys to Developing a Solid Marketing Plan

Tags: Marketing Plan, Inbound Marketing, Marketing activities

Does your business have a solid marketing plan in place to attract and retain customers? If not, it definitely should. A solid marketing plan can be the difference between your business succeeding by gaining new and retaining existing customers, or becoming extinct by being too content with relying on customer referrals. Don’t get us wrong, customer referrals are a great source of business, but if there was a new competitor to come in and begin to take over the market, you would be left with nothing. This blog can help you to develop a solid marketing plan in order to expand your business.

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1. Start with a Market Analysis

A market analysis is important to understand where your business is at. This will then help you to develop a plan of action based on the information you have gathered here. A broad range of topics should be analysed, starting with your current brand and brand message. This will allow you to see if you have a consistent brand image and message across all media and aspects of your business. A full market analysis should also be completed, which will include a competitor analysis, the volume and value of a market and any environmental factors beyond your control should be assessed. The information gathered in the market analysis will form a solid base for the rest of the marketing plan.

2. Define your Marketing Goals
Developing goals is vital for a marketing plan. Having measurable and realistic marketing goals is a key aspect to a successful marketing plan. These goals should identify key performance indicators (KPI’s) in order to measure your progress along the plan. These marketing goals should also be tied in closely to the goals of your business to ensure that there is no confusion or misdirection as to which way the business is headed. An example of a goal for a marketing plan may be to increase leads by 25% percent, or to increase total sales revenue by a certain percent over the next year. These are measurable goals and can be set realistically.

3. Develop your Marketing Strategy
Developing a strong strategy is one of the most important parts of the whole marketing plan. If done correctly, this strategy will allow you to reach your goals outlined in the previous sections of the plan. The strategy should at least include which segment you are going to target, your branding and positioning strategy, and a content and engagement plan. This strategy is the bulk of the plan, as it outlines exactly how you are going to obtain your goals. This strategy should include the top challenges for your business, such as generating leads, and outline how they will be overcome. A good inbound marketing strategy can help you gain solid leads and generate more traffic through your website. It is important to align your strategy with the goals identified earlier, otherwise you will lose direction and not reach your goals.

4. Monitor your Progress
This is another vital aspect of the whole marketing plan. This section will provide the outline on how you are going to measure your progress through the plan. This should include which qualitative and quantitative data will be collected and how. The data collected should be relevant to the KPI’s selected earlier in the marketing plan. This review should be done often enough in order to keep your plan heading in the right direction. It is not unusual to find areas of concern in your plan, but if reviewed correctly, these will be found early and adjustments can be made to keep moving forward.

If completed correctly, this marketing plan can feed into your next plan. The reviews and data collected can form the basis of your analysis for the next plan, and then you can learn from your mistakes and create an even more solid plan the next time around.

5. Set a Budget
Setting a budget is vital to a marketing plan. This will allow you to see how much money you have, to cover all aspects of the plan. It should cover everything from content creation to search engine optimisation and any other costs that may occur. Some of this budget should also be set aside for the market research required to monitor the plan as that can sometimes be an expensive step, and if forgotten it could blow your budget easily! It is hard to say exactly what your marketing budget should be as every business is different. A rough guide could be found by looking at competitors or determining the lifetime value of a customer.

Talk to the marketing consultants at Fit 4 Market to find out more. Fit 4 Market can provide advanced lead generation strategies, integrated marketing solutions, and are an experienced inbound marketing agency. What is inbound marketing? Click here.

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Fit 4 Market are Marketing Strategy and Inbound Marketing specialists, operating in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.