A marketing plan helps promote your products more smartly. A great marketing plan can significantly reduce the costs of marketing and increase the chances of converting leads into sales. 

What Is a Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan is your roadmap of how you’ll reach your target audience and convert them. Creating a marketing plan requires research, time, and commitment. 

Your marketing strategy must align with your business goal. For instance, if your goal is to boost brand awareness, your plan must include strategies that will help you become a known company in your industry. This will help you focus on your priorities and reach your goals faster. 

Steps to Create a Marketing Plan for a Small Business

Though every business will have a different goal and will need a different marketing plan, the process to create it will be the same. 

1 – Conduct a Swot Analysis

The first step to prepare a marketing plan for your business is conducting a SWOT analysis. It can help you analyze where your business and products fit in the market. 

Follow these steps to conduct a SWOT analysis: 

  • Identify your business’s strengths (e.g., your business location or low product costs).
  • List your business’s weaknesses (e.g., low marketing budget). 
  • Find potential opportunities for your business (e.g., latest marketing trends or technologies).
  • List potential threats to your business (e.g., increasing competition)

2 – Set Your Goals and Objectives

Now that you know your strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to set goals and objectives. 

Set both short-term and long-term goals. Ask yourself a few questions, such as:

  • What do you want to achieve in the next six months? For instance, increase sales by 10% or build a large subscriber base?
  • What do you want to achieve in the next two years? For example, appear on the first page of Google search results or double the social media following. 

When setting your marketing goals, follow the SMART framework.

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Achievable.
  • Realistic.
  • Time-Bound.

Following the SMART framework helps set a clear goal, provides a measurable objective that can be monitored. 

3 – Define Your Target Market

Your target market consists of customers whom you want to sell your products or services to. 

It largely depends on the type of product or service you offer. For example, if you are in Merchant services sales, your target market will consist mostly of startups and established companies. 

If you sell health supplements, your target market will consist of fitness freak peoples.  

Defining your target market will help you better target them and increase the chances of conversion. 

4 – Choose Marketing Activities

Your marketing activities include various ways to reach out to your target audience. 

Here are a few activities that you should consider including in your marketing plan.

  • Offline Marketing: If you have an offline-only store, you can advertise your product in local newspapers or hoardings. 
  • Content Marketing: Blogging is one of the best ways to boost your website’s ranking in the search results. This will increase organic traffic on your website. 
  • Social Media Marketing: With more than 2.96 billion people using social media, the chances of your target audience spending time on social networks is very high. Leverage both organic and paid social media marketing to reach a large number of people. 
  • Incentives: It involves offering purchase incentives, such as product discounts, customer loyalty cards, and small gifts. 
  • Email Marketing: Emails are one of the best ways to reach out to your subscribers directly. Let them know about the new product in the store or your latest offerings to entice them into performing an action. 

What’s Next?

Now that you know the steps to prepare a marketing plan for your business, it’s time to craft it. Keep your business goals in mind when setting marketing objectives. Measure your performance and optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.

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