Creating a marketing plan can be a tricky proposition. If you try to market your goods and services on how you want them to be viewed, rather than basing it on what the marketplace wants to see, you probably won’t get the expected returns. To create a marketing plan that ensures you receive the most benefit from your product development, sales, advertising, promotions, and public relations, seek to fill rather than create a need in the marketplace. Through this article, we provide an integrated framework that will transform the way you build marketing plans. The framework offers an integrated plan starting from strategy through execution process where each successive step builds on the preceding one to help develop a marketing plan grounded in sound business strategy.
How to develop Business Objectives?
Build on your core competencies
To plan your business goals, you must begin by reflecting on your core competencies. What is it that you are good at? What is that one thing/s that sets you apart from your competition? A realistic understanding of your core competencies will help you build a sustainable competitive advantage.
Below are a few characteristics of sound business goals:
Once you figure out these business objectives, you can now convert them into marketing objectives, to develop a robust marketing plan.
Example of a good Business Goal:
A few examples of Business Goals Templates:
How to develop Marketing Objectives?
A marketer’s goal is to eventually increase revenue. In the business world, there are two major levers of increasing volume and revenue.
Wherein Marketing goals primarily focus on increasing the customer base by acquiring new customers.
Growth can come from stimulating demand, growing your category through product or business process innovation, or stealing shares, from competitors or substitute products in adjacent categories.
Wherein Marketing goals focus on retaining existing customers of the product and increasing their consumption of the brand.
Depending on your product, category dynamics, and customer base, you have to allocate resources to customer retention vs customer acquisition.
The factors which help you decide whether you choose to acquire customers or retain them depending on your business status and objectives at that point in time. A few pointers are:
Now that we know our objectives, it is important to understand your customer well to develop a marketing plan around what he values.
Example of a good Marketing Goal
How to develop Marketing Plan?
Know Thy Customer
The Customer – The customer is who you are trying to convince. So you should be aware of their needs, their aspirations, their problems, and their situations. Can you hit a target when blindfolded? The answer is an obvious NO. Similarly, you cannot think of a perfect market strategy without the knowledge of your target customers. That’s where customer segmentation comes into play.
Customer segmentation helps to have a better understanding of the target customers. It is essentially a division of potential customers into discrete groups. You can divide potential customers based on,
Segmenting customers will help you select the segment for whom your offerings will be most relevant and will be aligned with your business and marketing goals.
Now within the defined customer segment, we need a way to figure out how to target them the right way. To understand what drives your consumers, you need to first understand the consumers themselves.
Create a consumer profile for your chosen customer segment. Such a profile will describe your customer in detail – in terms of age, gender, income level, needs, aspirations, problems, behavior, attitudes, etc. This profile will give you a detailed picture of what your average customer in the segment looks, thinks, and acts like.
The next step should be to describe what sets your product or service apart from competitors for your target audience. It gives a big-picture overview of the benefits a product or service provides for your target audience and how you are differentiated in the market.
A good Value Proposition is a clear statement that offers three things:
A few examples of Value Proposition templates:
Positioning statements are more focused, and they’re created after you’ve developed your business’ value proposition. It identifies only the primary customer benefits and points of competitive differentiation.
At its core, it’s a statement of how you want your brand to be perceived. It’s meant to be used as an internal tool to align marketing efforts with the brand and value proposition.
Effective Guidelines for writing positioning statements:
Example of Positioning Statement:
Executing the Plan
4 P’s is the bedrock of any marketing plan. Once the needs and desires of the customer are verified, the 4Ps together help the firm in executing the marketing plan. Now let us discuss the four fundamental elements of the marketing execution plan which are the Product, Pricing, Promotion, and Place.
The product concept is a combination of planning, producing, and developing the product or service to satisfy the ultimate need or want of the customer. It includes both tangible and intangible elements:
The primary criterion for deciding on the price is based on the purchasing power of the customers. The price of the product is determined by:
The place is all about how the product reaches the manufacturer to the customer. The margin of your profit depends on how quickly you can turn over the goods. The more swiftly the products reach the point of sale, the more likely the chances of satisfying the customers and increasing brand loyalty. Hence the Place factor is crucial in ensuring your product’s competitiveness in the market. The following are the elements of a distribution mix:
Now is the time to push your product. A key skill for a marketer is to know what information should be promoted through which mediums, and in what manner. The right promotion and mediums will directly resonate with your target customers. The main elements of a promotion mix are:
Tracking and KPIs
KPIs are important to business objectives because they keep objectives at the forefront of decision-making. All our marketing initiatives should be evaluated on the KPIs we define for our marketing plan.
Marketing KPIs are specific, numerical marketing metrics that organizations track in order to measure their progress toward a defined goal within their marketing channels.
A few important KPIs to track are:
A simple marketing plan with a robust and grounded action plan can ensure your success in business. An example of a Marketing Strategy and Planning Deck.