Whether you are starting your own business as an entrepreneur or looking to better understand how companies operate, it is important to know the intricacies of marketing. The rise of digital media, social media, and smartphones has changed the way marketing works, and if you don’t have a good grasp on the process, you’ll be letting the competition get a leg up on your business. Marketing has to reach consumers where they frequent. Today, those are often digital spaces like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etch. You can’t just send your ads into the void either, they need to be targeting a specific demographic that your company believes is its target audience. Let’s take a closer look at what a marketing plan is.
The Purpose of a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is sort of like a business plan—it is a particular document that details all of your strategies and tactics relating to marketing over a specific period of time. Generally, a marketing plan covers about a year’s worth of time, but it can be made to cover any period, such as 6 months or even five years. Typically marketing plans cover about a year’s worth of time because new trends in technology, advertising, social media, and smartphone use change the way marketers must react to their customer base each year. Although your marketing plan is meant to outline the specific marketing strategies your business will use, the document isn’t set in stone. As your business evolves and grows over time, the document should change as well.
Why Businesses Use Marketing Strategy
Businesses use marketing plans to outline specific details like their goals, program costs, and giving responsibility to certain individuals or company departments. Marketing plans are so critical to the success of a small business that many small business owners actually include their marketing plan with their business plan as an appendix. Without solid marketing, your business won’t be able to reach the eyes of its target audience. And even if you have a strong product and services, your business can’t succeed without sales. That’s why a marketing strategy is critical to your overall business success.
The Benefits of Using a Marketing Plan
Creating a marketing plan provides your business with a wide range of benefits. Marketing plans clarify who your target audience is, which helps your sales team to find the right customers. It also helps you craft messages that resonate with this target audience (instead of generic messages for a larger audience). The direction that is provided helps you to choose the best method of action for your company as well. Over time, you’ll find out whether your audience responds better to social media, email newsletters, Google ads, or direct mail. Once you’ve figured out what your customers respond best to, you can further personalize those messages to increase conversions. Personalized marketing and messages help to improve your customer experience and increase loyalty to your brand too.