"Marketing Plan" is term used widely and with varying definition. The resulting lack of clarity on what a Marketing Plan actually is, tends to preserve it in the domain of the "Marketing Experts". That said, uncovering the mystery of the "Marketing Plan" is easy to do and is a must for any business to survive and grow.
A Marketing Plan is really a subsection or variation (depending on who you ask) of a Business Plan, covering and combining many aspects of the business, the product and the market. I'm not going re-invent that wheel here. There is a very comprehensive template available here at business.gov.au. This is important stuff, but many business owners tend to skip the Business/Marketing Plan because of the time-cost and the fact they intuitively have enough of the information "up there" in their heads to get business happening at a basic level. In many cases, the Marketing Plan only comes out when the business owner wants finance up, or to sell up.
A Marketing Campaign, on the other hand is more of a 'how-to-do'. And for most people, it's more fun... like a game. It represents challenges with strategy, decisions, actions, outcomes and ideally... rewards. This is more my world!
Starting with the end in mind (always a good start), the object of this game is to increase sales volume. Maximising profitability was part of the previous tasks of the Business & Marketing Plans (which also covered basics such as: client profiles, demographics, seasonal factors, popular trends etc.). The stuff you determined there will enable you to design the best Campaign possible.
The activities that make up any Marketing Campaign will vary greatly across different business, but will generally be drawn from a familiar list that includes;
- Mainstream Advertising: Signage, Printed media, TV & Radio, Sponsorship
- Directory Advertising: Business directories, printed and online
- Direct mail: Targeted recipients, or geographical mass mail-outs
- Online Advertising: Pay-Per Click Ads, Banner advertising
- Online Marketing: Your business website, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Social Media/Blogging: Essentially a form of online word-of-mouth or "Guerrilla" marketing
- Door to Door: Being there personally, to assist your customer/prospective customer.
- Promotional Events: Exhibitions, Competitions, Give-aways, Seminars
Creating a Marketing Plan and deciding on what Campaigns to employ needn't cost anything more than careful thought. Even if you don't have the cash right now to put it in place, having a plan will help keep you on track to the point when you can.
How is your Marketing Plan looking? Is now the time to get it started? If you'd like some input on how to create a Marketing Plan and/or Campaign for you business, buy me coffee and we'll have a chat :)
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