Sarah Mcguire defines a Marketing Plan as a report that outlines your marketing strategy for the coming year, quarter or month. A marketing plan includes objectives that explain what you are trying to achieve.Lot of people have an idea of what they want to do and how they want to do it but the little details around the idea make it seem impossible. Many people have been trying to start businesses and the fine details don’t seem right. Some people have only managed to have a full proof strategy after some years. The following are important basics that one needs to master in their marketing plan.
1. Target audience
A good marketing plan consists of a target audience that is clearly defined. A clearly defined audience helps in messaging because when one develops key messages, they are able to speak to the specific audience. To narrow your target audience, a market segmentation is a must because you are now focusing on the four types of segmentation which include demographics, Psychographic, geographic and behavioral. Reaching an audience means that they are willing to listen to you, a good marketing plan will have to explain why you think your audience would actually listen to you.
Creating Content that is valuable, relevant and consistent is very important in a marketing plan because the content that you create will determine if you are able to attract, retain customers and if you are able to drive profitable customer action. A good strategy is a must when creating content for your target audience because it will assist you in coming up with ideas that will talk to your objectives. A good marketing plan needs a good strategy on how content would be created and why it is created.
Which platforms are used by your target audience? Knowing what platforms your target audience are using allows you to reach them. Many companies are struggling with actually finding the right platform where their specific target audience will come across their content. It does not help as well that the most popular platforms used by a large number of audiences is also used by many companies trying to reach specific audiences leaving you with little chance of your target audience actually seeing your content. If you look at your feeds and see how much content is placed on those platforms, you will see that competition is really tight and it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I think to balance the outcome, I would advise that you choose some of the platforms that your target audience use but also look for platforms that are accessible by your audience where you are not really fighting with many companies for attention. A good marketing plan requires you to identify platforms that will assist you to deliver your messages.
A good marketing plan needs to have timelines because that is realistic and it will help you track your work. It is important to know how long it would take you to get where you are going in order to plan and act within the timeframes. Let’s say for example you are doing a campaign on Human Rights Day, your plan is to have content that will speak to it on the month it is celebrated. Having content on social media platforms on Humans Rights Day 3 months after it was celebrated is a fruitless exercise. This is why then it is important that when planning, your marketing plan includes timeframes so that you know when to execute. The people in our time have learned to value their time and nobody wants to (or can) spend a lot of time on search for a product and service and waste their time browsing a lot of useless content.
How do you know if what you have planned was a success? Analytics are a very important tool that one can use to measure reach, performance and engagements etc. When you measure what you have done, you are able to go back to your strategy and see what you can change and improve. I refer to analytics to post research, meaning that you are researching what you have put out there to check what and how much effect it had. Post research can assist you when you develop a new marketing plan because you would make reference to it and not repeat the same thing you did.
The digital space is fully occupied with everyone using it 24/7 and it never sleeps. Companies are competing with individuals who place organic content and personal data and competing on the very same platform. The question that one should ask therefore is, “if I am doing the same like others then how do I make myself stand out from the rest”? Your marketing plan is your best bet in positioning your brand and what you are trying to achieve. Companies and individuals have content on these platforms but not everyone has a marketing plan. For more information on these principles, visit International Institute Of Digital Marketing™
Written By: Nomalanga Mkhaliphi
- “What is a Marketing Plan and how to make one”? https://venngage.com/blog/marketing-plan/
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