How to Create a Marketing Plan in Three Steps

We know you're busy, so we'll keep this short!

I have been in the marketing business for quite some time now and I have been asked 'where do I start?!' so often. So, I thought I would share my standard answer with you today. When it comes to marketing, it can seem like a never-ending mountain of to do lists. It can sometimes be overwhelming to begin or know what to focus your time on at the beginning. This is especially true when you are a business owner and all you want to do is get selling! Taking a step back and scoping out a plan will always help you out in the long run and make things a lot smoother (if you are in it for the long haul, it's always best to pace yourself, right?).

Your first three steps should be:

  1. Conduct a situation analysis.

  2. Define your target audience.

  3. Write SMART goals.

Basically, before you can get started with your marketing plan, you have to know your current situation. If you are selling makeup on an eCommerce website, you need to immerse yourself in all things makeup, Web Design AND online advertising. It's great if you have the best mascara London has ever seen, but how will you get potential clients to believe you? What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? When you know this, it will be easy to set up your tone of voice, Unique Selling Point (USP) and brand identity. It's also important to look at what your competitors are doing and how you can do things better.

When you have a better understanding of the market and your company's situation, you can then ensure you know who your target audience is. Start to create your buyer persona (this should include demographic information such as age, gender, and income). If you have a specific person in mind you are trying to sell to, writing content to speak to that person should be a lot easier. For example, Affordable Web Design is geared towards small business owners who are just starting out, we try not to use too much jargon (and if we do use it, we try to explain ourselves in plain English). This makes Copywriting easier for us because we are not trying to speak to too many different kind of audiences.

Once you have this information written out, it'll help you define what your goals are, which brings us to step number three.

I am yet to meet a person who is excited about goal setting, it is not the most glamorous task. However, it is near impossible to know if you are doing well, if you have no baseline to assess against. Also, I find it so hard to congratulate myself on the little wins, having a checklist to see how far you have come is a great way to stay motivated. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. I.E. your goal could be to increase your Instagram likes by 15% in three months. Depending on your overall marketing goals, this should be relevant and attainable. Before you start any tactic, you should write out your goals. Then, you can begin to analyse which tactics will help you achieve that goal.

So, you have your company vision, target audience and goals all set up. Once you know your goals, brainstorming several tactics to achieve those goals should be easy. Set a budget and keep analysing your strategy along the way and you will be a hit! The largest and most successful companies regularly set new goals and targets and update their tactics to stay ahead of the game. Keep adjusting your strategy and exploring what works and what needs revisions. If you need any help along the way, Affordable Web Design have plenty of marketing tools to help you execute your marketing strategy with precision and efficiency.