A persuasive marketing message acts as the bridge connecting a business and an individual. Crafted within a compelling marketing plan, these messages resonate with the individual’s needs and desires, guiding them seamlessly across the gap to become a valued customer.
So, how do you build an effective marketing plan? What information do you need to collect? And once you have this information, how do you use it? We will answer these questions and outline the steps to building a solid marketing plan. Let’s dive in.
The 7 Aspects of a Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan requires an in-depth understanding of your ideal customers and how you serve them. Consider the following seven aspects of building a solid marketing plan.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
You must know your target customers and what they need. This includes demographics (age, gender, race, etc.) and psychographics (values, behaviors, motivators, etc).
Answer these questions:
Who do you want to target?
Who are you currently reaching?
What appeals to your ideal customer, and why does it appeal to them?
What do they buy?
What factors motivate your ideal customer to make a purchase?
What do they need?
How can you help?
Compile the answers to these questions along with demographics and psychographics. Use this information to create your client avatar. You now know who you are talking to; these insights will inform every marketing message, ad and campaign you create.
2. How Are You Uniquely Qualified To Serve That Audience?
You now know who you want to serve, but why should you be the one to serve them? How are you uniquely qualified to service your customers?
This step is where you carve out the niche that you serve well. Consider these questions:
What is the reason for your business’s existence?
What support do you provide these customers?
What tools do you offer, and how are these tools uniquely positioned to solve your customers’ problems?
Remember to use your customer’s language. Your customers need to be convinced you understand their problem and how it affects them.
3. Identify Your Goals
Your goals drive your execution. Define your objective and what you want out of your marketing efforts. Use SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
For example, let’s say one of your goals is to grow brand awareness. We will apply the SMART goal format below.
S – Grow brand awareness by increasing social media engagement and mentions.
M – Increase followers by 20% and engagement and mentions by 10%.
A – Is this goal realistic and within your reach? YES
R – Is this goal in line with higher-level goals like increasing conversions? YES
T – Achieve this within six months.
You can use this format for any goals to ensure they are realistic and clearly defined.
4. Where Are You in Comparison to Your Competitors?
Now, take a look at your competition. This is called situational analysis. What do they do better than you? Where are they lacking? Identify growth opportunities.
5. Complete a SWOT Analysis
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This analysis gives insight into how your company stacks up against direct competitors.
Consider the following questions:
What are you good at, and what could you improve?
What are your competitors doing that you could add to your marketing plan?
What are your customers looking for in the future? What improvements would they like to see?
6. Optimize Your Presence
This step is where you will begin to implement. You want your brand messaging to be clear and optimized among all your online platforms and channels. Your channels need to work together in unity and tell your brand story.
Ensure each of these factors is optimized:
Website: Is your website mobile-friendly? Searchable? Can it grow with you?
Social Media: Does your social media have strong branding? Do your profiles include your website link, contact info and hours?
Google Business Profile: Claim your business profile and post content.
SEO: Can your website and brand be found in search?
CRM: What is your management system to organize your influence and interactions? How do you track leads through the conversion process?
Email: Do your emails align with your brand? Are they mobile-friendly and engaging?
7. Utilize Effective Promotion and Distribution
Go where your audience is. Launch your marketing content on channels your ideal customer uses. Post the right content for each channel.
Use your website and social media to post content that drives search. Use your CRM and email efforts to nurture leads. Effectively advertise offline as well as online, if possible. Events and webinars are compelling tools to collect email addresses, nurture leads and provide value.
Build a content calendar to ensure consistency. Cover these factors:
Where will you post, when, and why?
What events will you attend?
Will you include advertising?
Is there any seasonal nature to the business?
Implementing these seven steps will help you create a solid marketing plan. Invest the time to complete thorough market research and build a detailed customer avatar. Your marketing foundation is vital to every campaign your business creates. Stay consistent with your branding message and nurture interest.
Partner With Dream Local Today
At Dream Local Digital, we partner with businesses throughout the U.S. to create thorough marketing plans that improve ROI. Book a free consultation to learn how we can become your strategic partner to take your marketing efforts to the next level.