Marketing happens whether a business has a plan or not. Some companies will produce excellent marketing campaigns without any sort of structure in place.
You know you can produce great content without much of a plan, however you will be playing hit and miss with your profits and that is not really a position you want to be in.
All the training, webinars or blog posts you read will tell you to plan, plan and PLAN until you have planning techniques coming out of your eyes. The question is: which one is the best for your business?
Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. The only person that can answer that question is you. But there are a couple of steadfast rules that will be integral to your marketing plan no matter what your product is.
Your Mission statement
What do you hope to achieve beyond profits? Is it a specific change: ‘We aim to give everyone the opportunity to have a modern home’? Or is it a broader ‘better the world’ message?
Your statement will help you and your colleagues modify your behaviour to fit your business mission.
For example one of Google's missions is ‘Don’t be Evil’. It is broad but effective, it means that all of Google's employees must think ‘Could this be considered evil?’ before they do anything. Not only does a clear mission give your marketing strategy structure, it will also gives your business structure.
Before you do anything you should think ‘How does this fit with our mission?’
Knowing your audience is the next thing to outline after your mission statement. Your marketing needs to resonate with your audience or everything you do is a waste of time. Find out who they are, what their pain points are, where they are both digitally (what platform is best) and geographically and if you have the resources, find out what other groups and communities they belong to so that you can relate to them in lots of different ways.
Before you do anything you should ask yourself: ‘Is this useful to my audience?’
So you know your mission and you know your audience. Now you need to know your business targets. What do you need to ‘get’ from your marketing plan to turn a profit? You need to define your ‘Key Performance Indicators’ (KPIs) which might be a variety of things depending on your business. It might be warm leads, it might new business contacts, it might be sales, it might membership. Whatever it is, you need to set an achievable target.
This is so important for many reasons, but primarily you can monitor your targets and see if you need to change tactics. You could be drifting along thinking you are doing fine when in reality your expensive high quality video posts are not actually converting.
Get these three ‘pieces’ right, and you will sail above your competitors.
Go get practical!