Planning always plays a vital role in any work or task, because work without a plan can always lead to losing. In that way, marketing also needs complete planning and after that effective way to develop.
Let learn, How you can develop your marketing plan effectively in 7 steps:
- Define your Goals
- Situation Analysis
- Understand your Customers
- Assess your Key Strengths
- Competitor Research
- Picking Up Marketing Channel
- Purpose of Marketing
Define your Goals
All starts with an objective or a goal. Suppose, you go to the bus stand and sit on any bus, but don’t know where to go. Then, what will happen? Of course, your whole journey will ruin.
The same thing happens in marketing also. If you don’t have any goal, then your whole marketing budget will become wasteful.
Always ask question to yourself, why you want to do marketing. It can be done for only Brand awareness, lead generation, more online sales, to increase audience etc.
You have to always pick one objective which you want to accomplish with the help of marketing, because your whole marketing process will always varies from objective to objective.
It refers to the process in which a company examines its overall situation that impacts business which is mostly done through SWOT analysis.
It helps you understand the current situation of the business so that you can plan ahead. This is crucial, as any marketing activity you undertake, has to be in line with your business objectives.
So, let’s learn to perform an effective situation analysis.
In this process, companies had to analyze mainly two factors:
- Internal factors
- External factors
The internal factors are factors that businesses have complete control over it. It include ‘Strengths’ and ‘Weakness’ such as your resources.
The external factors include ‘Opportunities’ and ‘Threats’ such as market, competition and market.
Let’s take the example of HCL. It analyzed its company with the help of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.
It organization in India for digital transformation.
Low brand recall
i) To launch digitization business in global market.
ii) Drive business growth in Europe.
HCl decided to leverage its top position in India to pursue other markets such as Europe and improve its top-of-mind recall over that of its competitors.
Another way to analyse a situation is by considering the four layers that are present in any organisation:
1. How are your marketing activities reaching your consumer?
2. How engaged are they?
3. Are there any advocates?
1. How is your industry rated in the Digital Marketing field?
2. What maturity stage it has reached; is it still in the beginner phase or has it matured?
3. And what are the marketing channels which perform well in your industry.
For example consider the online medicine industry, which is still in the early phases of digital penetration, whereas the e-commerce industry is close to maturity now.
GSK would be in the early stages of digital penetration, whereas Amazon is in a matured industry of mobile commerce.
1. How are you placed with respect to your competitors?
2. Do your competitors have multiple services or touch points on the marketing channels that you don’t.
This stage is self-explanatory. So at this stage, you need to introspect and understand how your company currently uses marketing. The SWOT analysis you learnt above is a great way to do this.
Always consider these four factors to perform the situation analysis and also gather insights to build your integrated marketing strategy.
Understand your Customers
It is necessary to know that who would buy your product?
The ideal way to understand your customer is by creating buyer persona.
|Buyer Persona: A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.|
Lets learn how you can build an effective buyer persona to know your customers.
1. Research your Target Audience
The first and basic step of marketing is to search your audience. By researching, it will help you to create realistic persona.
To start, look at your current customers. Who they are? This will enable you to explore more interesting facts about your customers.
By finding commonalities among your best customers, you can create a persona that’ll help you attract more great customers.
You can gather details from an online survey, forms etc.
To gather information, you can ask some question related to their personal life and some following famous questions:
When do you open your emails?
What questions do you have about [Insert your industry]?
What kind of content would you like to receive from me?
Or what challenges do you face?
2. Narrow Down the Most Common Details
After completing the research, narrow down your details with most relevant answers received by audience.
Following are the information, you should determine from the audience:
a. Demographics ( age, occupation etc. )
b. Behaviors ( skill set, interest in your product offering, how they use your product or service, what they read and watch, etc.)
c. Challenges and interests.
d. Notification preference.
3. Create Different Personas
Now, you have narrowed your audience and now is the time of organization which means you have to organize the data which are relevant.
You can do this by identifying same people who have common challenges and goals.
For example, If you have a restaurant, you may find that some people’s main preference is to eat cheap and some prefer quality food. Since both have different goals, you can create 2 separate personas.
Assess your Key Strengths
The next step is to know your key strengths. It is like if you are good at content marketing but other marketers are good at some other marketing channels.
Just because marketing has all these different channels, It does not mean you should focus on all of them at once.
Yes, eventually, you want to take an omnichannel approach, which is leveraging all the different channels, but at beginning you need to assess your key strengths, and then leverage those first.
If you don’t know your strengths, You are going to be spinning your wheels, focusing on strategies that are going to take much longer for you to produce results.
But, if you are focusing on what you are already good at, you can get good results in very short times.
Competitor analysis is the process of evaluating your competitors’ companies, products, and marketing strategies.
You have to find out the answers of some questions from the competitors research:
a. Which marketing campaigns are most successful of competitors?
b. Which marketing campaigns touches pain points of consumer?
c. Which thing you don’t have in your marketing but your competitors have?
You can take help of various tools available in the marketing.
After the analyzing you competitors, you have to decide that which thing you should have to replicate in your marketing and which thing you have to avoid which are not likeable for customers.
Picking Up Marketing Channel
When you are entering in the world of marketing, it is a good idea to pick just one marketing channel, for the moment which is more appropriate.
But for the long term, don’t rely on just one marketing channel, as this can have negative effects on your business.
You also had to figure out that where your most of the customers are active. It can be online or offline.
If online, you can choose SEO, social media ads, etc. and you can use pamphlets, banners etc. in case of offline.
At starting, focus on one marketing channel. But, when you begin to see results, consider working on another marketing channel, as soon as possible.
Purpose of Marketing
In the last step, you need to figure out that, how your marketing will make money.
It can be in form of creating funnels, upsells or downsells.
Most of the brands adopt this following formula in marketing:
Increase brand awareness -> Build trust and authority among consumers -> Sell your Product.
Above described method is proven and generally works on every type of business.
So, these are the steps which you can follow and launch successful marketing campaigns. You do not have to completely depend on these steps. You had to analyze your results after some days and find which things are going right and which need improvement.
Ans: You can provide free samples as to increase brand awareness and if your product good, thin it can get sales.
Ans: Marketing plan refers to the activities you will perform in future and marketing strategy refers to your approach to achieve your desired results.
Ans: A business plan includes the complete information about business i.e. overall strategy, financial plans, target markets, sales, products and services etc. On the other side, marketing plans contain only the information about marketing campaigns, marketing mix, budget etc.
How to Develop an Effective Marketing Plan in Just 7 Steps
Summary: To develop an effective marketing plan, you must define your goals and purpose of marketing first. Understand your target customers through competitor research.
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