Have You Developed Your Marketing Plan for 2016?
All the industry giants are now putting together their marketing budgets and plans. A well-thought-out marketing plan is vital to ensure that you are proactive and not reactive. Without a solid foundation, a marketing plan is just a moving target. Companies can make decisions about every shiny, new marketing opportunity they present, some with the best intentions and others with less noble motives.
Step 1: Collect the information
It is essential to ask the right questions before you begin to draft your marketing plan. These questions will help shape your plan to achieve your specific marketing goals. These are some of the questions you should ask before you start:
Who is my target client? Be specific. Take into account consumer preferences and demographics.
What customer needs does our company address? List the unique ways that your products and/or services can be of benefit to your customers.
What sets us apart from our competitors? Take a look at their products and services and find out where you can surpass them. Compare your competitors’ marketing strategies. You might be surprised at how little you are able to capitalize on a previously untapped marketing channel.
How can we reach these target customers? Find out how your target customers prefer information to be received (e.g., email, social media). This can be revealed by demographics.
How can I quantify the success of my marketing efforts? This is crucial because, without complex data, you can’t know what is working.
Step 2: Decide the marketing channels you will use
A thorough review of your marketing channels in the past and promising new ones you could explore is crucial to budget allocation success. Once you have identified your target customer, it will be easier to determine which channels are most effective. If your target audience is heavily dependent on social media for making buying decisions, then this channel may be one you should invest more in. Here are some of the ways that companies can reach their customers.
* Online/radio/TV/print advertising
* Promotional products
* Direct mail marketing
* Cross-media marketing
* Social media marketing
* Email marketing
* Search marketing
* Article writing and blogging
Step 3: Decide how to allocate your budget.
Marketing plans must include a detailed budget that covers all the resources needed to reach their goals. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Forrester Research Interactive Marketing Forecasts (US) showed that 32% of average 2015 marketing budgets were spent on interactive marketing (such as social media and mobile marketing), and it is expected that this number will rise to 35% by 2016.
Businesses allocate 10-15% of their budget to new and innovative marketing opportunities that arise over the course of the calendar year. They can then test the waters with a new venture and know their spending limits.
All costs related to marketing and all channels must be included in your allocations. This includes salaries, outside agency fees, and so forth.
If you are struggling to allocate your budget, there is a simple formula that experienced marketers call “70/20/10”. It involves 70% of time-tested, proven marketing strategies, 20% of those that are promising but not yet fully established 10% for new ideas, and 30% for tried and true.
There are many factors to take into consideration when creating a marketing strategy. To create a solid plan that produces results, you must put in the effort and time. Your marketing plan is your roadmap to success and will help you keep your company on the right track with your marketing efforts. It will help you identify and secure the resources that you need to achieve your marketing goals. It will help you determine which channels are most profitable for your business and measure the results. Before your next event sponsor is called, you need to plan your allocations.