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How to develop a marketing plan

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

If you run a business, marketing is key to your growth—and how you’ll set yourself apart from your competition.

No two businesses are exactly the same, which means marketing strategies vary too. But all successful marketing strategies include four key components: your goals, your audience, market research and a budget.

In this blog, we outline how you can create a marketing strategy for your business to help grow your business.

1. Set goals

Depending on how long you've been in business, your goals might vary depending on how you define success. But for most businesses, goals often fall under 1 of 2 categories: raising brand awareness and acquiring new customers.

While both categories are important in the development of business, it can be helpful to prioritise the goals that make the most sense for you.

2. Define your target audience

No matter what business your in, it’s crucial for your marketing to reach the right people with the right message. As you’re developing a marketing strategy, take time to think about who your ideal audience is and who they aren't.

Think about segments like gender, geography, demographics or interests to help you define what your ideal customer looks like.

3. Find your place in the market

According to studies, a lack of demand in the marketplace is the number one reason businesses fail. Maybe the product or service being offered doesn’t solve a problem or isn’t unique enough to set itself apart from the competition.

Maybe its focus is too narrow and the pool of potential customers isn’t large enough to build (and scale) a successful company. Or, maybe it just hasn’t been positioned correctly and never had the chance to reach the right people.

4. Choose your channels

There are 5 essential channels all businesses should consider when trying to reach their ideal customers including; a website, email, social media, content marketing and offline promotion.

When it comes to social media, don't worry about jumping onto every channel available, instead focus on the ones most likely to get your brand in front of the right people.

Offline marketing like networking, brochures and events are also worthwhile considering if it means you can reach a new pool of people not engaged in digital marketing.

5. Determine your budget

Your marketing budget will be affected by several factors, including operational costs and revenue forecasts. But no matter how much money you’re able to set aside for marketing, it’s important to spend wisely.

Think about your goals, and focus your marketing dollars on the channels that will help you achieve them. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way or to try something new if a particular channel doesn’t prove fruitful.

6. Measure your marketing

If your business has limited funds and resources, it's doubly important to measure the results of every dollar you spend on marketing.

If your goal is brand awareness, measure your website traffic, social shares and new contacts you've added to your database.

If your goal is customer acquisition, keep a close eye on lead to sale conversion rates and monthly sales figures.

Ultimately, the key to a successful marketing strategy that can help drive your growth depends on minimising distractions and focusing on the activities that bring you real results. Listen to your audience and be willing to pivot if needed to ensure you can attract and convert new audiences into paying customers.

Need more guidance?

Get in touch for an obligation free chat.

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