How To Plan Your Marketing Strategy

A well-marketed product or service will draw in new customers, but it won’t do much more than that – it won’t keep them. It won’t make an impact beyond its initial audience.

To stay successful, you need to create products and services people want and don’t mind buying. You have to understand your market, and you have to know how to reach out to those people.

You also have to be able to measure the success of your marketing efforts so that you can repeat what works and move onto something new.

That is why having a solid business plan is so important. It allows you to think about the future of your company, as well as the present.

A lot of businesses never get past their first year because they don’t consider the long term effects of their decisions.

With that in mind, let's look at some ways to develop a smart marketing strategy.

Think about your company's location

how to plan your marketing strategy

The term “location-based marketing” is getting more popular every day, but some may still have trouble defining it. Location-based marketing uses technology to connect you with other businesses and organizations that share your business or organization’s mission.

By adding these connections into your promotional planning, you can boost engagement, exposure, and revenue for your business.

Here are some examples of how you can use location-focused tools to promote your business:

If your business is in the health and fitness field, then using apps like Uber to offer ridesharing services or offering discounts at local gyms is a great way to expose your clients to your brand while boosting your own visibility.

For example, by partnering with an airport shuttle service, you can advertise your business to people flying out of the area.

Choose your target market

how to plan your marketing strategy

A marketing strategy is not worth anything unless you know who it will reach and what messages will work for them. Who are your targets? What types of people or groups need your product or service?

You can be very focused, going after only one type of person, but that’s never a good idea!

By trying to focus on just one group, you lose the opportunity to spread your message to other people. You also risk wasting money because you won’t spend enough time focusing on the right audience.

It’s better to be more broad than narrow. Pick a target market that has a lot of potential customers, and then go in with a plan.

Do market research

how to plan your marketing strategy

A good first step in planning your marketing strategy is doing some preliminary research. Find out what works for your competitors, determine your strengths, and assess how well you are meeting your goals already.

This article has talked about some of the important things that can help you plan your next steps, but there’s one more element to consider – why are you trying to reach your goal?

If you don’t know what you want then it will be hard to choose the right way to achieve it. You might try working harder, spending more money, or using different strategies, but none of these will have lasting success if you are not aware of the reasons why you should succeed.

Knowing yourself and your motivation could mean the difference between giving up and keeping going.

It also means knowing when to shift tactics as needed. Sometimes, even though a tactic seems successful now, it isn’t effective long term. Or maybe you need to mix things up to keep your from getting bored.

Create your marketing plan

how to plan your marketing strategy

Now that you have an idea of what areas need attention, it is time to create your formalized strategic marketing plan!

Step one in creating your strategic marketing plan is to take some time to think about the strengths of your business and the weaknesses. This will help determine how to focus most of your efforts for growth.

By doing this, you will be able to identify the things that can be improved upon and/or eliminated to free up money to invest into more productive activities.

For example, if your store is dependent on heavy traffic for sales then perhaps you should look into ways to increase traffic or find new ways to draw in customers.

You could also consider lowering prices to see what effect that has on revenue.

Develop your website

A well-marketed business has a solid, attractive web presence that sets it apart from others. Your site should tell people who you are, what you offer, and give them an easy way to contact you!

Your site is one of your most powerful marketing tools because it creates opportunities for engagement and interaction. It also gives you a platform to spread your message and increase awareness of your services or products.

When planning your site, think about how you can improve your online presence and add new features to benefit yourself and your customers.

You may want to use different platforms to share information, promote products, and communicate with members of your community.

Some examples include: blogs, social media sites, forums, and interactive pages and forms via websites and apps.

There are many free ways to create your own space to share content and connect with other users, but paid options exist as well. Find ones that feel comfortable to you so you do not have to worry about looking professional every time you use the tool.

Create your social media presence

how to plan your marketing strategy

After you have determined what type of company you are, what products or services you offer, and how you want to position yourself in the marketplace, it is time to create your social media accounts!

While some people begin with Instagram first and then move onto Facebook, I recommend starting with the latter. This way, you can reap the benefits of being part of an established community and get more exposure that way.

Start off by picking a name for your account that will be easy to remember and unique so that people can easily find you. Then, choose a cover photo and profile picture that represent who you are as a person and give you inspiration.

Next, you should pick a username or handle that includes your business name, your phone number, and/or your email address. Some companies also include their website URL or VAT ID in this field. Make sure to check these out before creating!

Your password needs to be strong – no small letters or numbers here. A good tip is to use a word linked to your business or family as your password. For instance, if your business is Foodtolemon.com, you could make your password “foodtolemonyo” or something similar.

And now we come to one of the most important parts: defining your audience.

Buy advertising

how to plan your marketing strategy

The next step in marketing is deciding how to spend your money to get the word out about your business. Many small businesses start off trying to do everything, which is great because they are learning! But as you grow, you need to focus in on what works for your company and what budget can be spent effectively.

Some of the most common ways to market a business include: buying an advertisement on a search engine like Google or Bing, creating a website with a free platform such as WordPress or Shopify, producing and putting up fliers, sending emails to people directly, and doing social media promotions.

All of these things cost money, but there are many ways to manage it. Most companies have an internal committee that handles advertisements, websites, etc., so if you are ever not part of this team, you can at least help by supporting their work.

Identify your unique selling proposition (USP)

how to plan your marketing strategy

A few years ago, people would have said that buying new computer software was the best way to improve your business. Now, with every company offering a “self-service” way to manage their own marketing, that argument has been lost.

But before you choose not to use those services because they are available everywhere, consider what his or her USP is and whether it applies to you!

What makes these programs special is usually their ease of use or how much additional functionality they include. Many don’t require you to be very tech savvy to get the most out of them.

And while some may feel cost effective in the short term, investing in one now can help prevent companies from developing similar products and putting you at a disadvantage.

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