There are some businesses out there who think that they don’t need a marketing plan.
After all, they’ve been doing just fine with no marketing plan. Over the years they’ve advertised in the Yellow Pages and local Penny Saver print circular.
Technically speaking, advertising in the Yellow Pages and print circulars is a type of marketing plan – albeit a very weak one. If your business is looking to increase sales and customer retention in 2019, you’re going to need to sit down and develop a solid marketing plan.
We’re going to look at what a marketing plan is, the components that should be included, and how you can go about getting one started.
What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan isn’t just a fancy word that only Harvard college graduates use. It’s a well-thought-out document that details the actions necessary to complete certain marketing objectives which will ultimately drive new business or sales.
It’s a road map that helps you the business owner keep your marketing efforts on track as you grow your business.
Without it, you’re just spending money willy-nilly on the latest on or offline marketing fad, hoping that it will drive new business or traffic (protip: it rarely does).
Your marketing plan should contain your desired performance metrics, goals, tactics, and a strategy for each marketing campaign.
It should also help guide your decisions and actions as a business owner with regards to product/service development, pricing, promotion, and distribution.
Why Do New Bern Businesses Need a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan will help you target the right people – people who value your products or services and will most likely turn into repeat customers throughout their lifetime.
Marketing is usually carried out by more than one person. This means that all team members should be on the same page with regards to how they’re going to market, who they’re going to target, the message(s) they will be trying to get across, and so on.
Your marketing plan will be a proverbial road map that will explain exactly how to do this and keeps everyone on the same page.
What’s in a Marketing Plan?
The vast majority of marketing plans contain the following information:
- Brand positioning and the rationale or reasons behind it.
- A buyer persona (so you know exactly who your ideal client or customer is).
- Competitive analysis.
- Product plan.
- Product portfolio analysis.
- Pricing Plan.
- Distribution Plan.
- Promotional plan.
- A budget that determines the money and effort spent on each marketing channel.
- Focus chart (visual graphic or spreadsheet that shows time spent on each marketing activity).
Some of the above elements of a marketing plan might take some time to come up with a solid answer.
When creating your marketing plan, work through it slowly and methodically and visualize the entire process from start to the desired outcome.
If time is of a premium, you may need to outsource certain aspects of your marketing plan. This is perfectly normal. Just be sure that you set well-defined goals to ensure that you’re getting your marketing money’s worth.
How to Start Creating a Marketing Plan?
Don’t let the seemingly complex concept of a marketing plan intimidate you as they come in all shapes and sizes. Some large corporations have marketing plans that are hundreds, if not thousands of pages long. Other smaller businesses have ones that reside on a single side of a sheet of paper.
The important thing is that you define a clear path – from start to finish. You can also set milestones along the way. They will act as little reminders for you to check the progress of your marketing efforts to ensure that you’re keeping in line with the strategies laid out by the marketing plan.
The best way to get started is to simply sit down in front of your computer and write down the above elements of a marketing plan. Then, line by line, go over each one methodically and intelligently.
If you need help, you can always ask a family member, friend, or even call your friendly marketing experts at AlphaGraphics New Bern.
Marketing Plan Help in New Bern
At AlphaGraphics New Bern, we’re not only an expert print shop, but we’re also marketing experts. We’ve helped countless New Bern companies with both their printing and marketing needs.
If you need help with a marketing plan or executing any one of the marketing strategies that you’ve come up with, call us or stop by our shop. We’ll be more than glad to help you create and implement a marketing plan that will drive new business and customers.