What do you need a marketing plan for? What do you start with to develop the right one for your business?
Today I want to make some thoughts with you about the importance of having a clear and definitive marketing plan to you, first of all, that you are the owner of your business.
Relying 100% on external people who can manage communication for you about your company is no longer acceptable today. If we reflect for a moment on the evolution of digital channels in recent years, we realize that, more and more, some spot publication on social channels or on the blog of the site is not enough to have results.
On the contrary, online users are increasingly demanding and increasingly need to deal with people, not logos.
On social networks, users are increasingly asking (and the evolution of the Facebook algorithm is a proof of this) to see updates from friends on their wall, and not from the companies that follow. They ask to see content that inspires them, to entertain them, to make them dream and continually excite.
On the blog, instead, they want information; they want to have clear answers to their problems, and not to those of the company.
Here, this is a clear sign of how it is increasingly important to find the right way to stay in touch with your customers and also to find new ones.
How to make a strategic marketing plan
Well, including how important it is that you have your hands in it, when talking about communicating your business, let’s see where you need to start to develop a strategic marketing plan that is tailored for you.
The most important and perhaps most challenging part of this process is undoubtedly the initial analysis. Thanks to the analysis of your reality, your goals, your Person Buyer and the online market, you have the possibility to understand where you are going, how you need to move and where you want to go.
Specifically, here are the elements that cannot be missing in the initial analysis part …
1) Value proposition: What differentiates your brand from that of competitors?
In this case, it is a question of identifying the distinctive feature that makes clear the value of the company perceived by the end customer.
Basically it is a statement of the company that explains why it is better than its competitors. This is not a discounted item. Very often the company has no clear idea of its value proposition even though it is an element of vital importance for aiming for a constant growth trend.
2) Identification of Person Buyers
I have already talked about what I am in this article and, therefore, I will not elaborate.
In fact, it is the target audience you want to talk about and you want to reach with your communication strategies. Even in this case, it is not trivial to know who your personal buyer is. In most cases, your target is identified with the word “all” and, whenever I hear it, I get goose bumps.
If you talk to everyone, in a nutshell, don’t talk to anyone.
3) SWOT analysis
Also in this case, knowing what are the strengths and values that distinguish the company, helps us to understand what is more appropriate to aim at communication level, compared to the weak points.
Maybe our bed & breakfast doesn’t have breathtaking rooms, but it has a beautiful pool and an excellent SPA service. The photos on the site and on social media will try to enhance these elements much more than to show a lot of room images, right?
This is just an example.
4) Analysis of the reference market, therefore the competitors and the online search keys linked to their sector
Knowing who our competitors are and how they are moving to promote themselves online allows us to take inspiration for some of our strategy activities (never copy, but take inspiration).
Furthermore, analyzing which are the main search keys of the users linked to our products and services allows us to define already on which contents we will have to go to bet on the site , and eventually, on the blog channel.
5) Analysis of the purchasing behavior of our target: how can it reach us and buy our products or services?
An analysis of the actual purchasing process allows us to understand which channels are to be controlled (as they are most used by the Buyer Persona) and which contents to promote as much as possible.
This part is extremely important for the analysis, it gives us a clear vision of how the user moves and how we can better propose ourselves without being invasive and completely out of place.
Marketing Plan: Objectives and Start of work
When we know where we are and what we need to focus on to promote ourselves, we think about the goals we want to achieve.
We follow the rule of the SMART goal: Synthetic, Measurable, Current, Achievable, Temporal
In a nutshell let’s give ourselves a precise goal, with a definite time, which is however achievable and feasible with the resources we have available.
Once this part is completed, we define the operational strategy to start the work: which channels to manage, how to manage them, how to achieve the objectives and which budget to allocate to each of these elements.
This is not a casual job and done once in a lifetime, but, on the contrary, it is a dynamic tool that evolves over time based on the objectives and market trends.
What happens in most cases?
Getting the value of this kind of work to a small company or to a professional firm is not really that simple.
Generally, we tend to consider the part of analysis and definition of the strategy as superfluous and worthless. In reality, we risk starting to work at random, hoping that luck is always in our favor.
Marketing is a process that changes constantly but cannot be the lifeline when things go wrong. And in my daily life I often have to deal with realities that cling to the latest hope of marketing to revive the business.
As if the magic formula of online marketing could save the entire company.
I want to emphasize that this is not the case: to have results and to see interesting feedback through the web, there are a myriad of possible paths , especially nowadays. For this reason, it is impossible to see the light without a clear vision of the road ahead, thus risking to navigate in the dark and in the constant question “but why does the internet not work for me and for others?”
The Internet can be a valuable ally as well as a terrible enemy.
My advice is to make it clear where you want to go and LISTEN, not to pretend, the advice and suggestions that are left by the professionals you interface with each year.
But these professionals are not internet, they don’t have the magic wand with which, by touching the computer, they solve all your problems. No.
Professionals do their job, like all other professionals: they put you in the best conditions to work and communicate better to your target. What you need to do is communicate by following these tips and close the sale on a commercial level.