If you didn’t already know, marketing is the complete backbone of any business, big or small. You might think that the way the company is run is what guarantees its success, or how many employees it has running the ship. But what is the point in having all of that if you are not bringing any clients in? Clients mean money, and without money, there is no business. From a more altruistic perspective, you also need the clients to help you and your team feel as though you are actually helping other people through the work that you do. Good marketing is the one thing that will help your business attract custom, and therefore will help it to grow and progress. Drawing up a marketing plan might seem like something that will take up a lot of man hours and effort, but get it right, and it will be completely worth it. Here are the things to tick off your checklist when looking at putting together your marketing plan.
The target audience
Ask yourself this question, and be honest – do you know who your target audience are? Any self-respecting marketing plan needs to include a detailed section on the audience demographic. After all, how can you promote a product or service to an audience if you don’t know anything about the audience at all? Conduct plenty of market research in the early stages of your business, as this is what will help you to focus on the prospective client at hand. Many companies find it helpful to draw up a detailed plan regarding their typical customer. This plan can include everything from the imaginary person’s name and job to their favorite music, their socio-economic background and whether they have any pets or not. It may sound like a bit too much, but it’s been proven to work!
Whether you need any outsourced help
Consider the size of your business and whether you plan to do your marketing in-house, or outsource it. Remember that although in-house marketing can be cost-efficient, there may not always be a full-time need for a member of staff in house. It is also worth considering whether you need a very specific member of staff who pinpoints a unique business model, such as law firm marketing. This can save you time and money having to teach a marketing team about the ins and outs of what may be a type of business they have never worked for before.
How much you need to spend
As you run your business, you will probably see that it is very easy for your marketing budget to fluctuate. For example, there may be instances where you require a really big push on marketing – at a specific time of year when sales are usually low, for example (after Christmas). In order to make sure you have enough money in the bank for these kinds of eventualities, outline some rules for spending in your marketing plan to be applied throughout the rest of the year.