January is the perfect time to review your business performance and think about what you would like to achieve in 2018. There are a couple of key tools that we would like to look at to help you achieve this, your marketing strategy and marketing plan. So how does your marketing strategy and plan work together? Well simply, your marketing strategy is your overarching approach to help promote your business, it will help you to define your business direction and approach that you wish to take for the year ahead. Typically, it would include: SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed) objectives; define and identify your target audience; and understand your business environment. CLICK HERE to read more about your marketing strategy.
The benefits in drafting a marketing strategy and plan are to help you be clear on who you are targeting, what you wish to say to them and to be focused, ultimately helping you to get the best results possible and be efficient with your marketing budget.
Once you are clear on your marketing strategy then the next phase will be to write your marketing plan. A marketing plan is a summary of the tactical activity or to do list if you like of what marketing you will work on to help achieve your business goals you define.
Typically, a marketing plan will include:
1. Understand what you need to do. what marketing activity will you deliver and when, this could include emails, social media activity, a direct mail piece, PR and any third party advertising.
2. What are you going to say? We talk a lot about content being king, so to have a clear plan and define your mini campaigns will be really valuable. This will also help you to be more coordinated and ensure that you are talking about a consistent message across all of your channels. Think about when and if you would promote special offers, telling people about what you do and your standard prices is often enough.
3. Investing in third party media. Once you have established your harvest marketing channels it is the perfect time to invest in some above the line activity. Ensuring you select the right media will be key, once you know that your publication is going to the right audience, then ensure you send them the right message to resonate with your audience via your creative will be equally as important.
4. How much should you spend? Unfortunately, any marketing activity requires an investment, either in your time or budget, being clear on what you are trying to achieve will help you invest wisely.
5. How many people are you talking to? Understanding how many people you are targeting will help you make an estimate on the kind of response you may hope to gain. Most media will provide you with either circulation (print run) or readership (average anticipated reader per publication) figures. Both social media channels, email channels such as Mail Chimp will also provide you with target/ reach figures.
6. Is it working? It is also recommended to continually test and refine your marketing plan, nothing is set in stone. Be clear on your objectives, understand if you are achieving them. If you are, great, if not then try something different.
If you need help in kick starting or reviewing your marketing strategy or marketing plan please contact us to arrange your FREE 60-minute consultation.