As you may already know, a well-thought-out marketing plan is essential for any business' success and growth. Planning and organization ensure everyone on the team is on the same page, understands their role, and knows how to execute it.
Marketers who proactively plan projects are 356% more likely to report success, and marketers with a documented strategy are 313% more likely to report success. It is also reported that 70% of the most organized marketers achieve their goals most of the time, while an elite 10% of organized marketers always achieve them.
Proactivity is the key to building a successful marketing strategy. Here are ten questions to ask yourself before creating your marketing plan.
1. How will your marketing plan support your business goals?
Aligning your marketing plan with your business goals ensures your big investment isn't wasted. This means documenting the goals you want your business to achieve in a set period of time and then using them as the foundation for strategy.
The most successful, well-thought-out plans include SMART goals because they are Specific about what you want to achieve, Measurable to help improve future plans, realistic enough to Attain, Relevant to your goals, and Timely to keep everyone on schedule.
2. What do you want to accomplish and why?
When considering what you want to accomplish, make sure there is a solid reason behind it. For example, if you want to increase traffic to your website — a good reason why would be because you're looking to increase brand awareness and generate more qualified leads.
On the other hand, a bad reason would be because "everyone's doing it."
3. Who is your target audience?
If you genuinely want to resonate with your audience, your marketing plan absolutely must be based on reliable consumer data about your target audience and their likes and dislikes, behaviors, and other demographics. Start your research by looking into your competition's customers, your customers, and consumer data.
4. Who is your competition, and how do you measure up?
There's nothing wrong with knowing your competition inside and out. In fact, the more you know about your competition, the better prepared you will be in getting ahead of them.
Assessing their success and failures is a great way to avoid the same mistakes yourself and build off their successes.
5. What makes you special, and why should your customers care about what you have to offer?
If you're looking to stand out in a saturated market, you absolutely have to have a unique selling position — then you have to get the word out to your audience. Is it your atmosphere, multiple locations, or competitive prices? Whatever it is, make sure it’s customer-centric. Saying you’re family-owned is nice, but doesn’t really impact your clientele’s bottom line. Also advertising you have excellent customer service can be a waste of time and money since customers will already expect to receive good service. Give them a reason to care about your business over the competition.
6. Which marketing strategies are right for your business?
Not every business will have success with (or even need to pursue) every business strategy. In fact, that's why it is so important to align your marketing plan with your business goals.
This ensures that the right tactics are being used to achieve your goals. For instance, if you're looking to improve your reach, an integrated strategy with digital marketing tactics can be useful.
7. How will you reach your target audience?
Your marketing plan can be the best in the industry, but it won't matter if it isn't reaching your target audience. Determine where your target audience spends their time and when they're active.
This can be done by evaluating their mobile phone use, social media preferences, online presence, TV consumption, viewership of CTV/OTT streaming, and more.
8. How much are you willing to invest?
A budget is a great way to balance your marketing plan efforts with a reasonable amount of money available to do it. This will help you avoid spending more than you can afford.
"Divide your target revenue by the average customer revenue. Then multiply this number by the target acquisition price," Business Collective advises. "Once you have your ROI goal and overall annual revenue goal, calculate your targeted marketing spend."
9. What tactics worked in the past?
Successful marketing is all about learning from your failures and building from your successes. To do this, your team should always keep extensive and organized documentation on previous tactics to avoid repeat mistakes.
This can include a number of helpful tools: website analytics, KPI tracking, CRM tracking, and mobile tracking.
10. How can you optimize your marketing in the future?
There are several ways you can optimize your marketing in the future, but one, in particular, is to partner with experts that are already established in the marketing industry.
Working with a media partner can make a big difference in elevating your marketing plan and getting your business ahead of the competition. Asking yourself these questions — and considering our answers — is a great place to start. If you're looking to maximize your business’ potential, visit our Meredith Las Vegas Blog for more marketing tips.