Marketing is a must for business growth. Every business needs a strong marketing plan to stay competitive and profitable. However, coming up with a powerful marketing plan can prove challenging.
And you definitely need a plan. Without a marketing plan in place, your company will have little direction when it comes to campaigns. There is also a potential to waste valuable resources.
Marketing has also become multi-channel with a combination of must-have pathways to reach as many target consumers as possible. The more you reach, the more your company and marketing message can convert.
“In today’s competitive digital economy, marketing needs to incorporate SEO, internet marketing, PPC advertising, and UX web design,” Chris Bower, CEO of Detroit Internet Marketing, a digital marketing company in Michigan.
To help, we compiled a few of our top marketing plan tips for next level business growth. Let’s dive right in!
1. Who Are Your Target Customers?
This may seem pretty obvious, but you would be surprised by how little businesses know about their target customers. Your company may be in the same boat. Understanding WHO your customers are in-depth is a must.
Knowing your target customers is not only about demographic data, like gender, location, age, and other common demographic customer data. To really get to know your customers, you need to dive a bit deeper.
For instance, where do they hang out online? What do they spend most of their money on? What other interests do they have that can be paired cleverly with your products and/or services? What gets them excited?
These are all good questions to ask when you deep dive into your target customers. You can also ask past and current customers direct questions via your email marketing list. Just be prepared to serve up a reward for taking the survey.
2. Audit Your Company’s Current Marketing Efforts
With more in-depth knowledge about your customers, you can compare what you now know with your current marketing efforts. You will be surprised to find some weak points that can be improved with new customer data.
Auditing your company’s current marketing efforts doesn’t stop at your company either. You need to also audit the marketing plans and campaigns of top competitors in your market as well.
All of this can provide valuable insight into what works, what doesn’t, and what your marketing team can do to increase web traffic, conversions, and most of all, profits. Understand your customers and your business to create a strong marketing plan.
3. Have Attainable Marketing Plan Goals
Now that you know where you stand, you need to know where you want to go. This means having very specific short and long-term goals in place for your future marketing plan.
“To truly create ‘success steps,’ as I like to call them, it’s critical to set and define specific annual marketing goals for your company on a regular basis,” explained Jon Simpson in a recent Forbes article on marketing goals.
Some food for thought when it comes to creating attainable marketing goals for your company includes:
- What are sales projections and how many new customers do you need to meet those projections?
- What channels and campaigns will help your company attain new customers and convert them?
- How can you reach your marketing goals this year with the resources you have?
- Can you manage now, or will the marketing team need more talent and greater budget?
- How can customer support and service be improved?
- What are your main marketing messages and do they align with what target customers are excited about?
With attainable marketing goals in place, there will be no excuse to reach next level business growth.
4. Strategy And Segmentation Are Critical To Marketing Plan Success
This is where things get more challenging for many marketing teams. In order to put a plan of action together, and implement the plan, you need strategy and segmentation. Strategy must have points that prove profitable are:
- New product/service development
- Shifts in current product solutions
- Finding new markets
- Compiling competitor data
- Employing new digital channels
With strong marketing initiatives at the ready, you can segment your customer base. This can be applied for businesses large and small, as well as B2B, B2C, and a combination of the two.
To segment your target audiences with your new marketing goal initiatives, you will need to look at segment size, accessibility, cost of entry, segment profit potential, unique aspects, and overall benefits.
The more defined a segment, the better. This will help your marketing team optimize to the maximum for digital marketing. You will also reduce resource waste when you tether strategy with segmentation.
5. Position Your Business For Next Level Growth
You have probably heard of positioning before. However, positioning a business and its products and/or services is a bit different these days. The internet shopping trends have flipped the traditional positioning model into something more complex in some ways.
Growth means that you need to find new customers and position your business to meet the need and solve new customer problems. For instance, if you sell blenders, new customers in the fitness market.
This will require you to position the business to meet the needs of the new market and its segments. Growth opportunities include:
- Position products/services for new market entry
- Sell more products/services to existing customer base
- Tweak product/service offering to improve conversions
- Create product ranges to target a new customer segment
Position your company, products, and/or services in new ways in order to stay competitive in your industry and boost sales. With creative positioning, there are plenty of new ways to convert new and existing customers.
6. Create A Marketing Plan And Implement It
With the above in place, you can begin to create a powerful marketing plan that is all about profitability. This is when you create and put your plan into action. However, your marketing plan needs to be very detailed to facilitate next level business growth.
Your marketing plan may need more resources to be successful, so be ready to call on outside marketing professionals and agencies. All of this will require you to have marketing plan oversight. Someone to oversee and manage the plan as it unfolds.
This will include in-house marketing team and outside marketing agency coordination and communication, task management, and tracking of campaigns and initiatives. Marketing managers will need to be ready to shift strategies based on analytics.
Make Marketing Work For Your Company
The above marketing plan tips for next level business growth are only the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty more marketing plan tips to research and implement. It is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all marketing plan out there.
You will need to tweak as you go to hit the numbers and achieve your company’s marketing goals. Be specific. Be detailed. Utilize analytics. And lean on your customers for support. How will you take your company to the next level?