It's all about the plan. If you already have an established team that specializes in marketing operations, this should be a cakewalk. Of course, every business’s marketing plan differs here and there, but it’s always best to rely on a certain plan. Putting together a strategy will help your business zero in on your goals and develop the right action plan to achieve them.
These few steps are easy to follow and should get the engines of your venture going -- you gotta start somewhere!
1. Form a ‘snapshot’ of your company’s current state
All you business professionals and students may remember the good ol’ SWOT analysis. Well, believe it or not, analyzing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities (to capitalize on), and threats (potential competitors or problems), is actually a great way to see where your company stands in its progress and against others in the industry. It’s also a way to grasp your certain weaknesses and where you can improve, as well as how to further optimize your existing strengths. Sit down with your team and have an in-depth conversation about where you stand in the market, what you're good at, what needs work, and what you can be the best at. This will take some true personal honesty, but it will definitely pay off. Just keep it real with yourself.
2. Describe your target audience
You may feel this is redundant, but it’s a very important tip in every business and should be emphasized every time. You want to be able to aim where your products and services will thrive the most. What demographic will resonate the most with your mission statement and objectives? Our favorite aspect to determine is what exactly the potential buyer wants and NEEDS. Statistics like age, gender, income, etc. are a necessity for you to know.
3. List your overall marketing goals
Yes, bringing it back to the high school days where listing your goals every year was something our teachers made us do (or was that just me?). Well, personally, listing some goals or challenges is always great to do not just career-wise, but in life. It motivates you to do better and gain an edge, and I think the same concept applies to your company and its objectives. It also helps to provide short-term goals which in turn is a great measure for success and will lead you closer to your end goal.
4. Develop what strategies and tactics you’ll utilize
Here’s where the game plan comes into play. Depending on your target market and what kind of service you provide, this will vary. This is where you define what strategies and methods you will use (will it be social media advertising, public relations, word of the mouth?), what person would be in charge of what, and it’s best to capitalize on your strengths here as well.
As exciting as it all is, at the end of the day, we’re all on a budget here and we have to plan our funds accordingly. This is where your finance officer or official would do wonders, so it’s best to keep your progress and plans in check by always staying within your budget.