A great idea isn’t going to get off the ground without people knowing about it, wanting it and making a purchase. If a company cannot persuade its customers to give it their business, then nothing else that company may be able to accomplish can save it.
This is why marketing is so essential to business. Marketing is what informs customers about the products or a service offered by a business and persuades them to use it. And for marketing to be most effective, it has to re-inform and re-persuade customers new and old alike again and again, time after time.
Use these 4 easy steps to create a marketing plan that will help drive sales goals:
Step 1: Set Realistic and Measurable Objectives
First off, businesses need to drill down on what they want their marketing initiatives to accomplish for them. It’s important to set realistic and measurable objectives so that you’ll be able to reach them and know it when you do. Gaining one new major client every month or increasing monthly sales by 25 percent are both good examples. These will act as motivational benchmarks by which to measure your success.
Step 2: Get Specific on How to Achieve These Objectives
This is the hardest part of the marketing planning process. You want to write down as many things as you can, as specifically as you can, about how you can achieve each of your specific marketing objectives. The more work you do here in this step, and the more specific you get, the more effective your marketing plan will ultimately be.
For example, “placing some ads” is not a specific enough plan to reach an objective of increased sales. Instead, businesses need to go into detail about the type of ad being placed, where it is going, what it is promoting, and so on.
Step 3: Check This List Against Marketing Objectives
Once you’re finished brainstorming your list of potential activities, review it. Check each activity against the marketing objectives that you’ve set and see how they measure up. Choose those activities that will best target your potential customers and clients.
Step 4: Decide the What and When
In addition to specific details of what to do, businesses also need to keep a detailed time frame in mind when crafting a marketing plan. This means getting out a calendar and deciding not only which activities to pursue but also when to initiate them. Additionally, include in your marketing plan, calendar notes on estimated budget allocations for each activity as well as which objective each activity is related to.
Part of the planning process may be driven by budget availability and or phasing. Put your time and budget investment in to initiatives that you feel can do the most for your business in the immediate term. Use a “test budget” on each activity and monitor results. Once you gain an understanding of what your customers are responding to, continue to scale your budget in to those activities that return the most sales.