Generating fresh leads is one of the biggest challenges for every business and having a clear marketing plan is key. A lot of businesses don’t take marketing that seriously, but marketing is an extension of your wider business strategy and it should be one of the most important focuses. After all, it’s what brings you in new customers, sales, profit and so on.
Your marketing plan doesn’t need to be long though, it just needs to clearly outline your strategy. Besides, this document should be regularly reviewed, changed and updated, as marketing is very much something you adapt based on your situation. For instance, if you have new offers / products, you might want to make new marketing tactics and campaigns for them as well.
Your one-page quality marketing plan should be able to cover the foundations you need for success, without the unnecessary stuff. So, let’s have a look at the key steps of creating a one-page marketing plan that will kickstart some effective marketing:
Think about your core brand vision
In any business, it is essential to set out a core brand vision, outlining WHY you’re in business. This will be the foundation for any marketing strategy. Your brand vision should effectively describe what your company offers, what is your USP (Unique Selling Point) and value to the customer, how you are different from other competitors and what do you want to achieve in the long-run. For instance, if you run a clothing shop you don’t just sell the clothes – you may be recycling materials to make your products, that way helping the Environment. Perhaps you have a unique theme that is meant to unite certain communities. There always has to be a certain idea, otherwise you will struggle to stand out.
Define your customers
Establishing who your target audience will be is one of the most important things for a successful business strategy as well as a marketing plan. Some businesses may have very specific niche audiences and some may be able to sell to a variety of people. Nonetheless, you should be able to describe who your ideal customer is. This will help you better understand what your marketing messages should be and where they should appear. The more specific your target audience is, the easier it will be to appeal to it with specific marketing tactics. Your marketing strategy will be very different if you’re selling to seniors as opposed to young adults..
Explain how you solve your customer’s problems
The main reason you start a business is because you recognise a specific need or problem in the market and you believe that you can solve them. This means that you need to be aware of any needs of your audience, the challenges they face, the pain points and the hopes. Once you have these outlined in your marketing plan, you will be able to create solutions for them and provide your audience with what they need in a way that your competitors don’t. This is essentially your secret sauce, something that makes you different from your competition.
Choose your channels
There are multiple different channels to communicate with your audience, especially in these digital times. For example, your website might be a key place for online marketing content as well as social media pages like LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. However, some companies still benefit a lot more from non-digital channels of marketing, such as billboards, sponsoring events or setting up pop-up stores. Again, this is strongly related to your audience, what you are selling and what is the fastest, most efficient way for your messages to reach your customers. If you’re running a local highstreet store, social media presence might not do as much for you as a simple outdoors ad.
Understand your revenue drivers
The point of marketing is to raise awareness of your brand. However, ultimately, you’re running marketing to convert this awareness into enquiries, sales and revenue. So, your marketing plan should also have a clear explanation on how exactly you will be making sales through each of your marketing elements. Think about how they create leads, potential sales and returning customers. Don’t forget to include budgets and timescales for each of these elements.
Some marketing tactics are very much long-term and you may not be able to see the results for a while. However, it is crucial that you are able to measure your ROI (Return On Investment) and how successful each of your campaigns were. Otherwise, you will be putting time, money and effort into something that doesn’t work and needs to be changed. To measure your success, set specific targets for each campaign – define the desirable numbers, the dead-line for reaching them, the budget you will spend on it and so on. You will then be able to see if your marketing is performing well against the timeline and budget as well as measure your ROI.
Your marketing plan should come together with your general business plan and be treated equally as importantly. If you spend enough time gathering information on your target audience, position in the marketplace and USP, you will be able to create a strategy for successful marketing activities that will bring you new enquiries, sales and revenue.
Don’t forget that you can also use marketing models within your marketing plan – they can be extremely handy in explaining complex information in a visual, clear and concise way. This will ensure that you fit all the essential points in a one-page plan, excluding what is not important.
Do you want to create your marketing plan but you don’t know where to start? Download our handy template to kick start your great marketing strategy!