You know the old saying, “Success isn’t owned. It’s leased and rent is due every day.” What’s more is that success is planned for from the beginning!
In breaking down the elements of a successful business plan, your marketing plan is a huge piece of the puzzle. Your marketing plan must focus first on your target audience (customers) with crystal clear ideas on how you’re going to reach them. Not sure where to get started with your marketing plan? Here are 3 key elements that you usually see in every successful business plan.
(Really) know your target audience
You cannot create an effective marketing plan without knowing your audience. It’s no longer good enough to understand basic, high-level information about your customers. The best marketers deeply understand their customers’ pain points, what they struggle with, what their goals are, and how they can uniquely help them. In all honesty – you could have the best marketer on the planet working for you, and if you don’t deeply understand your customer, the strategy will fail.
To help you get started, we created an awesome Marketing Guide that shows you exactly how to dial into your target audience in 30-minutes or less. It also includes a free customer persona building template, get your free download here.
Market research is an age-old research tool to help you identify your consumer’s and habits, behaviors, psychographics, and more. Research is the first of several elements of a marketing plan because without it, you are throwing the proverbial spaghetti against the wall, trying to get something to stick. What’s great about market research is that it doesn’t just have to be information you pull off of the internet, either. Surveying former customers, customer discovery interviews, A/B tests, customer feedback – all of these initiatives are a form of research. Don’t know certain information about your customers? Ask them!
Primary research comes directly from a potential consumer. This information is invaluable. Negative and constructive feedback is oftentimes more valuable than positive feedback because it shows you what’s working for you customers, and what isn’t. From there, you can pivot and modify your strategy accordingly.
Secondary research relies on statistics, studies, and other gathered data to build the elements of a marketing plan. This is the big picture. How much does your target audience spend on your type of product or service? Are there new trends? Where do your customers shop? Secondary research helps you know where to hone in for effective marketing.
Know Your Competition
Check out the competition. If your competitors are succeeding, they’ve likely already done market research and have figured a few things out along the way. By researching the competition, you’re giving yourself a leg up on who is interested in what you have to offer. If they’re doing well, you can bet there is room for your woman-owned business to also flourish.
If you’re already in business, and if you’re reworking or starting market research, begin with your current customers. The goal is to broaden your audience with people who are similar to your existing customers. This information details a proven track record for your success. To win in marketing, repeat, repeat, repeat everything that’s working. Check out Using Frequency Marketing to Gain Happy Customers.
Where do you market? Build a strategy!
Your business is in the market to fill a niche or solve a problem, but you must reach your audience with the right message in the right place for an effective marketing plan to work.
Where do your customers go for information?
Building a customer acquisition strategy is one of the key elements of a marketing plan. This strategy helps you figure out exactly how to acquire customers and at what frequency. A quick place to start is to research how your target segment shops for your type of product or service. Different social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok each reach a different demographic. Here’s how to learn more about How to Use Pinterest in Your Marketing Strategy.
Once you’ve found your customer, the worse thing you can do is disappear. Your customers want a mutually beneficial relationship. Give them what they want, and keep showing up for them consistently so that when they’re ready to buy, you’ve created trust and you’ll be top of mind. Effective marketing includes your staying consistent with your outreach, your messaging, and your strategy. Consistent touch with clients might include things like:
- Email blasts
- Loyalty programs
- Social media updates
- Product promotions
- Coupon codes
How do you spend your marketing dollars?
Your budget is going to change as your business grows. Businesses often fail because they didn’t plan to spend enough on marketing from the start. Here’s where to get started:
Start with the Essentials
Marketing essentials including a website, branding, social media, and advertising. Make it easy for them to find you and your message. Get out there and do it!
For effective marketing you must use a two-prong approach.
Focus on what is already proven and working. If email blasts give you the best ROI (return on investment), then keep doing it. But if you’re brand new in the market, you’re guessing what will work in the early stages (and that’s totally OKAY). Trial and error is really important at the beginning to figure out which marketing mix and channels are going to work best for you.
Allocate part of your budget to experiment. Popular belief would make you think that there’s a one-size fits all approach to marketing – and that is simply not true. If there’s a new social media platform, or you just have a great new and daring idea, budget to be able to give it a try…then measure your results. If it works, great! If it was a flop, then you move on to the next idea. Without experimenting, you might miss finding your best marketing platform.
Come visit us at Sohuis to team up with women business owners like you, learning elements of a marketing plan or more of the latest tips and keys to lead to success. When you have Sohuis on your team, you can keep up to date with the latest masterclasses and fireside chats, learning tricks like being newsworthy to help your marketing plan, how to stand out in a sea of sameness, and even how to build an online empire. We’re excited to share everything we know so we can cheer with you as you succeed.