Let’s make you an effective marketing plan, so you can spend LESS money, and get MORE sales. The following are, based on my experience with all different types of businesses, the most important and effective pieces of a business’ marketing plan. If you find yourself wanting to skip a section because it’s a lot of work, use your willpower and don’t do yourself that disservice! Oftentimes in coaching and personal growth, the things you don’t want to do are the ones that will bring you the most benefit! Part 2 of this series will be coming to the blog next week, as well as your inbox (sign up here!)
1. Strategic Objectives
Strategic objectives are your specific and measurable goals, that if achieved, will have you achieve your mission and vision. They are your big, overarching goals for the business. In your marketing plan, we will include only those strategic objectives which can be achieved through the actions we take in our marketing plan. For example, we would probably not include a strategic objective to decrease employee turnover, because our marketing and advertising likely do not have an effect there. We would, for example, include a sales goal such as “achieve $5 million in sales this fiscal year” or even “attract 2 new full-time staff in the next 3 months” because our marketing could help us accomplish either of those. Many people choose strategic objectives that include:
- sales goals
- gross profit goals
- net profit goals
- conversion rate
- retention rate
- attracting new talent
Whatever strategic objectives you choose to include, ensure that your marketing plan (actions) can accomplish them for you! After all, that is the whole point of the marketing plan!
2. Mission Statement
A mission statement tells anyone who reads it what you do, in what way you do it, for whom you do it, and why. Some people have expressed that a mission statement is unimportant, or inauthentic, but that’s only true if you do it incorrectly! A proper mission statement perfectly captures your WHY (why you are moved to do what you do), your WHAT (what it is that you do for clients), your HOW (in what way you do that thing you do for your clients), and for WHO (your ideal clients). This can then become the cornerstone of your plan. Remember to be authentic and thorough while you’re working on your mission statement.
3. Define Your Brand
Ideally, when you’re doing it right, your brand as perceived by the public, your culture as experienced by your staff, and your advertising images and impressions will all be consistent with one another. A cohesive brand is one that never confuses those experiencing it, and a strong brand is one that people recognize because they see consistent/similar impressions of it, every time they come in contact with it.
4. Analyze the Competitive Environment
Your USP and competitive advantages can set you above your competition if you can analyze the competitive environment properly. Do yourself a favour, and DO NOT SAY “I have no competition”. This simply isn’t true. Your competition should include anyone who could take or has taken business from you. First, identify the characteristics important to your ideal clients, and then compare you and each of your competitors in regards to each characteristic. A simple excel chart is best, with the names of the business in the first column, and each of the important characteristics laid out in the subsequent columns. Decide on a scale for each characteristic, then do research so that you can objectively rate each business. For example, SEO is often an important characteristic. You might come up with a scale that states a 1 = being on the first page of search results, and a 10 = the 4th page or later. Once your chart is filled in with all of the ratings, check to see which characteristics you ranked very highly on, where everyone else ranked low. This may be an opportunity for competitive advantage for you. If you’ve done it correctly, it will be in alignment with your mission statement, brand and USP. Your USP is a feature or characteristic of your product/service that distinguishes it from others like it, and is appealing to your target audience.
You’re getting this marketing plan assignment in bite-sized chunks so that you feel that you can do it! Do something your future self (and business) will thank you for, and tackle these first few sections, today!
If you feel you need some help increasing your profits, contact TMH Business Coaching and Consulting today for a confidential, free, no obligation consultation to propel you forward. Also, please feel free to add yourself to our weekly coaching tips email!