Quick marketing plan execution in 5 easy steps
It’s not easy to create a marketing plan. And it takes time, research and thinking.
I collected the fundamentals in a short system, you can go through and execute in an evening.
What are the 5 simple steps you need to follow to write a marketing plan? A marketing plan which is not just a quick mish-mash, but it really can work great if you put the effort in it. It will create growth, boosts profit, and “let’s say: produces” more customers.
My research and experience show that most entrepreneurs and small business owners aren’t really doing any marketing at all. Maybe nobody taught them, maybe they are afraid that it’s something difficult and time consuming, and sometimes they don’t want to be too “pushy”. Maybe you are one of them.
Who just realized that you need marketing, and started to learn how you can do it on your own. Not what big companies do. What works for small companies just like yours.
That’s a good decision that you started learning it. You can make small or even big changes if you do it right, you don’t have to pay for a marketing consultant.
This knowledge that you are getting now puts YOU in a very good position, because it means that with just a little marketing effort, you can easily stand out against your competitors.
Creating a basic marketing plan is not complicated at all. If you follow these 5 steps, you will be able to create your campaigns’ marketing plan.
This marketing plan creates a strategic plan to grow your business and boost your profitability.
Here are the steps:
The first step is, I know, it’s pretty obvious. Every marketing plan starts with this, no matter what is your campaign about.
- Setting up your goals
Setting written goals is critical for success. A goal in your head is no more than a wish.
But if you write it down, that’s one step closer to do it right. Execute those goals is the next step, and write down your progress every day, week, or month. It depends how long is your marketing plan.
You will be amazed by the results if you start to use this goal system now!
First write it down, second start to execute, third write your progress at each milestone.
To set up a good goal, make sure that it:
- Is measurable 2. Is achievable 3. Has clearly defined timing
It can be more profit, more social media followers, brand awareness, or anything you are doing your campaign for. Usually it’s more profit, but you can… no. You have to do other campaigns as well to build and grow your business.
Because how popular you are on social media is important. How strong is your brand and how many people saw your marketing message is important. The traffic for your blog is important.
It depends what channels you are in, that you found out where your customers hang out.
Put numbers behind your goals. It’s not enough that “I want more customers than last month”. How many more? How fast? Who? Ask yourself these and similar questions.
The next step is to figure out who do you want to sell your product, who they are, and what is their problem.
- Get to know your customers.
The more that you know about your potential customers, the more effective and the less expensive your marketing and advertisements will be.
Knowing your customers and what motivates them is the most important step to becoming successful. You have to know:
- Who are your customers? 2. What do they want? 3. What is their motivation to buy a product or service?
This knowledge is the core of a successful marketing campaign, and allows you to build the best strategies and increase profits easily.
- Who are your ideal customers? These are the potential customers you need to advertise to, and there is not just one.
Write a detailed description of your buyer persona, or ideal customer. If you have more products, you might have more ideal customer avatars.
The narrower your focus the better results you will get.
Because you want only well selected people, who are interested and buy your product. You don’t want to advertise to everybody, that would be a little costly, and the ROI is not that high.
But if you select a specific niche, you can focus on them, and sell more than if you would advertising for everybody.
How do you find a niche?
I’m sure that there is a niche that wants to buy YOUR services and products, but you have to find them first. Ask yourself (or conduct research on) the following:
- Is there a group of people with similar goals that nobody currently serves?
- Is this segment big enough to be able to make money by serving them?
- How many customers I need to make a good income? Are there enough in this segment? Are there more so you can grow?
- How many other companies currently serve this segment (how big is the competition)?
- What does your competitor do? What can you do better?
The best marketing strategy a new business can use is to search the market, and find a small niche that nobody serves, or is poorly served, or there are weak competitors. Just think about it.
Every customer has his/her own reason to want to buy something. And different reasons motivate them.
That’s why a general marketing message doesn’t convert EVERYBODY to a customers. You have to advertise to them specifically, based on what they need, what their unique problem is. The more specific you can be, the easier it is to get new customers.
Instead of selling to everybody, find a specialty that makes you different from other companies. Find a differentiator that sets you apart .
You can be as specific as you want.
The second question is to answer in this mini-market research is
- What do they want?
So now that you have identified some potential customers, you need to think about what they actually WANT. What is their goal? What are their dreams? What are they struggling with and what solution they are looking for?
Do you have that solution? If yes, this is your target audience.
- What motivates them to buy ? This is how you will sell your products.
Just because you know what they want doesn’t mean you know what motivates them. When it comes to marketing, the WHY is one of the most important questions you have to answer, when you are researching your target audience.
What can be motivator?
– Be more attractive – Being healthier – Have more money – Being happier – Being successful – have more time. And it’s just a few I mentioned.
Drop a comment with your ideas that is a great motivator. What are your customer’s motivation? I would like to see it.
Now you know who is your audience, let’s see where they are. Let’s find them. Where they spend their time, that’s where you have to be with your marketing message.
- In the third step, you choose your marketing media based on where these people spend their days.
Finding the best marketing media is critical for a successful marketing campaign.
Marketing media is a communication channel that you can use to reach your potential customers. The best channel is one that effectively reaches your potential customers’ niche at an affordable price.
And where you can reach your customers? Where they hang out.
In the previous step, you created an ideal customer. Watch them where they are hanging out. Are they on Facebook? Pinterest? Instagram? Or special forums? Are they a member of a community where they hang out? What do they like to do? And where are they doing that?
Based on your specific segment and your marketing message, choose a few marketing channels to communicate with your future customers. Choosing the right media is the key for a successful marketing strategy.
Choose at least 2 medias where you will be active with your brand. It’s always good to have a plan B if things go wrong on one platform, and also you can reach more customers on different medias.
Once you choose your marketing medias, get out there, and keep communicating your message every single day.
It can be a Facebook page, or Facebook live videos where you give helpful tips, balloons or T-shirts at your store (with the slogan you created in the previous step), organizing events or competitions, writing blog posts or articles, sending out flyers or brochures,
- The 4th step of this marketing plan is your marketing message
A marketing message not only tells your customers what you offer, but also inspires them to buy from you. A marketing message has two parts: The first is the slogan.
What are good slogans? What are bad slogans? And why?
E4: Execute, Every Day, Every Hour, Every Guest
What does this company do and why are they better than their competitors? These information are missing from this slogan.
Gallery Property Management: An experienced management company with integrity
At least we know what the company does. But integrity is something that is an automatic expectation if I hire a property management company, so why is it in the slogan? It’s just too boring, too common. It doesn’t say anything about their niche or their special services.
Marks and Spenser: The customer is always, and completely right
I understand that they might have a great customer service, but it’s the minimum that we expect when dealing with a company. Is it any other strength what make them different than their competitor?
Now let’s see some examples of a good slogan:
Metronome: Focused on Software Research & Development for the U.S. Government
Mamma Chia: Fun for your mouth, great for your body
Mac Pro: Beauty outside, Beast inside
Fortune: For the man in charge of change
These are better slogans, because you immediately know, feel, taste, imagine what they tell you. You know why it’s better than others, and you know what they are for.
They are specialized for only the US Government. Or they are healthy and have a fun texture.
The slogan has to be short and impactful. It’s better to use something simple than something funny – people are looking for catchy and memorable information here, not for a good laugh.
The second part is your marketing message. You will use this for every marketing channel: ads, promotions, Facebook posts, banners, websites, everywhere where your company presents. To create a short and clear marketing message, you can focus on why your company is so special? What is the solution it offers and for what problem?
- Summarize the problem of your client segment,
- Provide evidence that the problem is so important that you have to take action immediately if you don’t want to make it worse,
- State why you are the best solution to solve this problem,
- List the benefits they will have in their life if they start to work with you,
- Guarantee of results
If you found an impactful marketing message, it will build your brand
You don’t have to be a big company to build a brand. As a small business owner, you can build your own brand. Frankly, small companies have to build their brand, especially if they compete against bigger or more popular companies. But a well-known brand is not enough: the most important thing is how many confident and satisfied customers you have at the end of the day.
If you are doing it well, will build a strong reputation for your brand, and build a name. Why are your products different? Why should the customer buy from you instead of from other companies? These are more important things than what your products are and how much they cost (if this weren’t the case, everybody would drive a cheaper and nobody would drive Mercedes or a Cadillac).
Build all of your advertising (Facebook posts, flyers, articles, blog posts, website) around your specialty.
Now you know who is your customer, what do they want, and why, you created a powerful message to them, it’s time to choose where do you want to advertise this message.
And one more thing that your marketing plan has to include. And most people forget about that.
- The last step is to set up your marketing budget
You can set up your marketing budget in different ways. You can calculate the exact amount you will spend on marketing, or you can estimate a number.
For somebody who just started their business, and have no experience and numbers from previous month or years, they can guess a number how much do they spend on marketing – hopefully something that generate enough profit at the other end.
If you are doing your company for a longer time, find out how much a customer cost, and how much money you have to spend to be able to pay that cost, and plus generate some profit.
One thing is important: HAVE a number in your head and in your notebook that you can calculate with.
How can you calculate how much does a customer cost?
Just divide the cost you spent on marketing by the number of new customers. This allows you to calculate exactly how much it costs to sell a product, or get a new customer.
For those, who don’t have previous data and numbers, maybe ask:
How much should they invest in marketing?
Now, multiply this number with the desired number of new customers in your campaign. This is your marketing budget.
This is how you calculate the marketing budget.
If you want, get a paper and pen, and write down the different elements on it, and try to work on it with one of your products.
- Write down your goals. Don’t forget to set achievable goals, and start working on getting there.
- Conduct a mini-market research project. Ask your current customers, ask people who came in to your store, create a poll on Facebook, or simply ask your friends the questions I listed above.
Write down the answers, rank them by popularity or frequency, and keep this list. This will be the base of your marketing plan.
- Choose the marketing media that your potential customers use, and brainstorm on a short and catchy slogan, and write down your marketing message.
- Give yourself time to write your marketing plan. A whole afternoon should be enough.
After you do this, you are ready with your very first marketing plan. It wasn’t too difficult, at all. At it was easy, understandable and quick. Of course, you can spend some time and create more details, more researches and more steps, but now you know how to put these together.