Well-executed marketing plans are essential to successfully implementing the strategy and operations of your business. If you are doing any marketing whatsoever, it’s very important to sit down and consider the various services that you need to advertise, outline the different outlets on which you have the opportunity to advertise, and then define which outlets, at what frequency, are necessary to utilize for each service.
Many people get step one wrong. It’s not to simply set your goals. Come on, we know that everyone who markets has the same goal. They want more sales and more customers, which translates to more money. That’s why we come to work each day, right?! However, you can’t begin to market anything until you have clearly outlined your services.
We’ve consulted with numerous companies who tell us all about what they do or the products they offer, but the challenge is this:
ONE: Do you know WHY what you have to offer is valuable to consumers?
TWO: Do you REALLY do or offer what you claim your business does or offers?
THREE: Is what you offer really VALUABLE and DESIRABLE to consumers?
After that, go deeper. You can’t simply make a list. You’ve got to drill down into each sector to clearly define the options available to the customer. Take note, this step in building a marketing plan not only allows you to understand what you need to market specifically, but it provides clarity regarding opportunities to cross market your services. As you begin to think through this process, it may or may not become clear that you need to modify or alter your offerings, or even the manner in which you provide your services. In this day and age, it’s important to keep things simple. This is clearly illustrated by the Big One. One of the reasons Apple is so successful is because they have mastered the art of simplicity. They offer one phone, one watch, one tv. Each may come in various capacities, but the style is the same and the options are very limited. Why exactly do you think they don’t offer 1,000 color options on the iPhone? Surely it’s because they can’t figure out how to make them in that many colors, right?? Keep it simple. Build your business to provide the options necessary for your offerings, but keep your focus. Leading a customer to choose from three options can happen much quicker than having them choosing from 30 options.
Our second tip in creating a marketing plan is to outline your various outlets for marketing and advertising opportunities. It’s important once again to start with an eagle's eye view. Think about the overall outlets first. Think digital, print, environmental, internal, etc. From there, dive down and outline the different tangible opportunities within each division. For example, you may define that you will do print advertising, digital advertising, and in-store advertising. Those would be your big advertising buckets. Next, begin to fill those buckets with the specifics. For example, list the various print publications in which you will place advertisements. Pinpoint the various digital advertising that you will implement, such as pay-per-click advertising, Facebook advertising, geofencing, etc. Define each and every opportunity that you may have in-store to connect with customers, such as sidewalk signs, window clings, menu boards, table tents, etc. Later, down the marketing yellow brick road, you will use these outlines to “run” each campaign, service, or product through to determine what specific outlets are appropriate for each. It’s important to define these for consideration not only during the development of your marketing plan, but for future marketing opportunities that come to light as you build your service and product offerings.
Yes! It’s so easy to remember that you need to advertise your Spa Packages in February when you begin seeing red hearts everywhere; or that it’s flu season and your company does flu shots when your entire household is lined up at Urgent Care; but at that point, well … Let’s just put it out there that a yearly marketing calendar allows you to get ahead of your competition. Whether large or small, service or product based, considering holidays, seasons, behavior patterns, cultural events, and other significant predictable worldly changes could be game changers for growth. Additionally, if you have your marketing efforts outlined, your creative team, whether in-house or external, can have the necessary time needed to build a compelling campaign, as opposed to pushing out creative in a day under a time crunch. With a marketing plan based around a yearly calendar, you won’t be limited by deadlines that you can’t meet because you didn’t plan ahead. Sit down. Get some coffee. Calendar out the important factors that affect your business. Build your campaigns around these dates. Timeliness is next to Godliness, right?! Don’t fret. You probably will not fill the entire calendar with an event or season that directly influences buyers. The holes are the times to focus on what your business provides no matter what day Siri says it is. However, do keep in mind that those times that are influential can be maximized with a preplanned marketing calendar. It’s not an easy feat for any person to conquer an annual marketing plan, and it takes time, deep thought, and dedication. On the contrary, a marketing plan can serve as an invaluable tool for all businesses. Knowing what your marketing objectives are, what means you are using to meet those objectives, and following up with factual results can help make sure that you are wisely utilizing your marketing budget.
If you’re interested in working with Nice Branding Agency on a marketing plan, whether it be a consulting project or hiring our team as marketing partner, please contact us at email@example.com. We have locations in both Nashville, TN, and Central Florida. We are well equipped with teams that are able to lead your marketing division to success by serving as your marketing partner to not only build a comprehensive, results-driven marketing plan, but to support it year after year with graphic design and strategic support.