C G. Got a Plan? MARKETING. How to Build Your Marketing Plan & Budget. PCGMarketing.com. P.O. Box 4633 Des Moines, Iowa

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1 Got a Plan? How to Build Your Marketing Plan & Budget P.O. Box 4633 Des Moines, Iowa

2 An Introduction We are a full-service marketing company that uses creative strategies to develop marketing solutions that are tailor-made to your business challenges and objectives. We specialize in website development, marketing with social media, optimizing your database to sell more and the broad scope of brand marketing. We offer a free marketing assessment of your current marketing plans and website to help you better understand where you re missing valuable customer touch points. Our Team Julie West Micholyn Fajen Katy West Workbook 1

3 Why do you need a plan? A marketing plan is a simple document that records the actions you want to take to achieve your business goals. It will most likely outline who the target audience of your product or service is, identify who your competitors are, outline a strategy to attract customers and set a budget for marketing your product or service. Marketing fulfills a vital function. A business owner must be familiar with the business s customer base, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the business s competitors. These factors, and others, should be identified in a well-prepared marketing plan. Too many companies shy away from creating a marketing plan either because the task seemed intimidating or because marketing means you might need to spend some money. When you started your company or before your company was launched, it began with a plan...a stepby-step pathway to success. Reassessing that pathway and goals year over year is an important step to ensure you are promoting your products or services in the right medium, that the sentiment about your brand is positive and that your financial goals are being met or exceeded. Know where you re headed! If you don t define where you want to take your business every year, you ll never really know if you ve arrived there and been successful. A marketing plan is a road map that helps you stay focused, move purposefully in the right direction and measure whether you ve achieved success. And the good news is that it s far easier to create than you think! Visualize the finish line! When you develop a marketing plan for your business, you are illustrating the characteristics of a successful business. Like any goal you want to attain, you need to visualize it to be successful at achieving it. Elements of marketing We re willing to bet you ve got more marketing initiatives going on than you realize. Do you hand out business cards? Is your company in the Yellow Pages? These are all marketing initiatives or part of your marketing mix. But some marketing tactics are stronger at reaching your target audience or your customer than others. A step-by-step process can help guide you to identify those strong marketing tactics and how to most effectively reach your audience. Start off with defining your brand. Workbook 2

4 O Brand Definition If you don t know how to describe your brand, you can t expect your customers and potential customers to do so. When you define your brand perception, you are very simply stating what your company offers to the target customer. Everything you sell, say and do encircles this single idea. The following 5-step approach will help you determine your brand definition and ultimately build a guide for all of your outgoing communications. 1. What do you want to accomplish with your brand? What is the sentiment you want customers to have about your company, its character and your product or service? 2. Who is your target audience? Based on what you want to accomplish with your brand, what are the general demographics of the people who will buy or use your products or services? 3. What does your target audience CURRENTLY think about your brand? 4. What do you WANT your target audience to think about your brand? 5. What is your value proposition in one sentence or phrase? Bridge the gap between the two thoughts of what the target audience currently thinks vs. what you want them to think. Workbook 3

5 You and Your Competition A SWOT Analysis can give you the framework for your marketing plan. The exercise allows you to identify both internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) factors in which your company may need to invest more time or money. But it also will show areas you need to avoid. O Consider your company and your external influences. Brainstorm the good, the bad and the ugly here. Where does your company shine and what areas need bolstering? Try it on the competition, too! A SWOT analysis is a smart way to assess your competition. It can help you determine their weaknesses, which could present opportunities for your company. Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Marketing Strategy & Tactics By now you ve begun to better understand your audience, how you are positioning your brand and where you want to take your business in the new year. The next step is to outline the marketing strategy, create your media mix, determine who you will reach with each effort and understand the best tactics or ways to help promote your business to achieve your objectives. Workbook 4

6 O Step 1: Start with your marketing strategy What are 2-3 objectives for your marketing plan? List your top 2-3 marketing objectives. When do you want these objectives to be accomplished? When will your brand/product/service be available for your audience? When and where can you have the most impactful Share of Voice over the competition? Is there a specific time frame when your competition is more active with their communication? Where is your competition monopolizing the customer? Workbook 5

7 O Step 2: Determine how your target audience uses media Mobile users (smartphones) n Yes n No Website browsers n Yes n No Social media users n Yes n No If yes, which channels? Billboard or print media viewers n Yes n No Newspaper or trade magazine readers n Yes n No marketing readers n Yes n No Event attendees n Yes n No Other media specific to your industry n Yes n No O Step 3: Create ways to reach your target audience in those mediums Is your website mobile ready or responsive in design? n Yes n No Is your website updated to detail your product or service and then accept online orders, has a call to action for the customer to buy/call/reach you? n Yes n No Are you present and active on social media? n Yes n No Do you have a message and budget for billboards or other advertising? n Yes n No Does your business have something to tell the media about (new product/service, interesting business owners or business model)? Can you write a press release or blog content? n Yes n No Do you have an updated database of customers or prospective customers? n Yes n No O Step 4: Determine tactical ways your company will be most effective in reaching your target audience Develop specific tactics for each area. Develop a time frame to deploy these tactics. Consider launching many tactics within a similar time period to boost impact. Craft your message for these mediums that align with your brand, value propositions and key messages, differentiate from the competition and that drive action to achieve your marketing objective(s). Assign the role of who will be carrying out the tactic(s). Workbook 6

8 Tactics When to Deploy/ Launch Key Message Assignments Measuring Success Throughout the year, you should be measuring the success of your launched marketing tactics. Today s technology offers many ways to gain insight on your marketing efforts. From Google Analytics and QR Codes, to social media insights and marketing reporting, measuring everything you do is the most important part of your marketing plan. Consider your campaigns Did they meet the objectives outlined in the time frame you allotted? Are they reaching the right audience? No? Identify the areas where your tactics are failing. Be agile enough to shift the direction. Yes? Bravo! Keep pace and measure your effectiveness consistently. Workbook 7

9 Marketing Investments What can you tackle on your own? The truth is, no marketing effort is free. Even when you take on these marketing tasks yourself, you are dipping into time lost in selling or producing. Is your time better spent on tasks within your expertise? Or do you and/or your staff have the ability to professionally tackle the tasks without jeopardizing other areas of your business? In-house vs Outsourcing In-House Tasks Outsourcing RESEARCH & Simple surveys and internal research & marketing Professionally held focus groups and marketing development by research experts CUSTOMER LEADS Manually glean from member organizations & associations Purchase a targeted list CONTENT / COPYWRITING In-house staff writes content for print & web Hire a professional copywriter DESIGN In-house staff designs marketing materials for print & web Hire a professional designer WEBSITE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT In-house staff designs & develops Hire a web design & development firm SOCIAL MEDIA In-house staff posts & monitors Hire an expert specializing in social media marketing Workbook 8

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