Every year, new businesses start their operations in the U.S. According to the latest U.S. Business Formation Statistics reports, in 2020, the U.S. saw 4.38 million new business applications. That number is growing every year. But unfortunately, not all of these businesses are able to perform. One of the reasons behind this is a lack of strategic marketing.
A strategic marketing plan is your road map to success. It helps you identify and prioritize your market’s needs, devise the best ways to meet them, and measure the results of your efforts.
To develop a good strategic marketing plan, you need to know who your target audience is, understand their preferences and buying behaviors, define what makes your product or service unique compared to others in its industry, and so on.
To help you out through all this, here are a few things you need to have or do when designing the perfect strategic marketing plan for your business:
A Definitive Mission Statement
A mission statement is a concise definition of what your organization stands for. It is one of the most important documents you will write as part of your strategic marketing plan because it sets the tone for everything else you do.
The purpose of a mission statement is to provide guidance and inspiration to achieve success. If your company’s goal is to become the best provider of products/services in your industry, then it’ll be useful to have that vision clearly stated so all employees can work towards it.
Conducting Market Analysis
As an integral step in creating a strategic marketing plan, you should conduct an analysis of your target market. This is more than just knowing what products or services to offer and how much they will cost. It also involves understanding who your customers are and what they need.
You can do this by conducting research on the following:
- Demographics (who exactly are you trying to reach with your product/service?)
- Psychographics (what values and beliefs do these people hold?)
- Geographic location (where do they live?)
- Demographic trends (how big is this group likely to be in 5 years?)
Determining What You’re Selling
This will help you develop your value proposition, the promise that the customer has in mind when they use your product or service. It also helps you to identify the right mix of marketing tools and strategies that will most effectively deliver on that value proposition.
You’ll want to identify your target audience and understand their needs as they relate to your product or service. You should know who your competitors are in the marketplace, what products or services they offer, how much they charge for them, etc.
The more specific information about each of these points you can gather before developing a strategy for reaching out to potential buyers, the better off everyone will be when all is said and done.
Setting Realistic Goals
To ensure that your marketing plan is on track, you must have a clear understanding of the goals you are working toward. Goals should be specific, measurable, realistic, and achievable by your target audience in a given time frame. These goals should also be written down so that you can refer back to them throughout the process.
For example, if you’re launching a new product line or service and want to increase revenue by 10% over last year’s figures within six months (a reasonable timeframe), this would be an achievable goal for your company. If this same goal was set all at once with no thought put into it, things could become unrealistic quickly.
Strategic account planning can help you realize your goals as well as retain valuable clients down the line.
With the right account planning tools at the disposal of your sales team, account management becomes easier, allowing you to maximize your revenue. That’s why top businesses all over the world deal with account planning in Salesforce.
Salesforce makes customer relationship management easier. That, in turn, helps you manage your goals as you’re running your day-to-day business operations.
Realizing Your Budget
A Guidant Financial survey shows that 29 percent of people are eager to start their own company or business because they want to be their own boss. What many of them fail to realize is that the will to lead a business is not enough on its own. Budgeting plays a huge role here.
Budgeting is an essential part of any marketing plan. As the name suggests, it involves establishing a budget for your company’s marketing activities. The amount you have to spend on advertising and other marketing methods depends on your business goals and objectives.
You should therefore start by defining what you want to achieve with your advertising campaigns and how much money you’ll need to do so.
When creating a budget, make sure that it’s realistic but not overly optimistic. You don’t want clients or investors thinking that they’re paying for an expensive campaign when they’re really just paying for virtually nothing at all.
If possible, get help from people who’ve worked with similar companies before. Their experience will be invaluable in ensuring accuracy without compromising expectations or excitement levels too much around any given project.
Come up with an Action Plan
This is where you’ll look at your goals and decide how to achieve them. It’s also the most important step in ensuring that your marketing strategy will be successful.
Your action plan depends on your goals. The more difficult your goals are to achieve, the more extensive and throughout the plan needs to be.
Even with easy targets or goals, having an approachable action plan is vital. Otherwise, despite having all the resources at your disposal, you might fail to reach your goals. The action plan here works as the map you need to follow to reach those goals you set up earlier.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of businesses in the U.S. fail within their first year of operation. One reason behind this is the lack of a proper marketing plan, which, in turn, leads to many other failures. With a solid marketing plan, you will be able to take action, achieve your goals, and avoid failures that dictate the fate of many other businesses.
It’s not just about the big picture. It’s also about how you get there. A good marketing plan will always help keep you on track for success by providing direction for when things get off track or when something unexpected happens.