The importance of creating a marketing plan and strategy

Today I want to talk about the importance of creating a marketing plan and strategy.

I know, not something you probably want to do but it’s so incredibly important to the success of your business so listen in.

Marketing plans and strategies seem to have a bit of a bad reputation, or maybe they’re a bit snore-worthy in your eyes but I’m hoping this episode will change your mind.

A marketing plan and/or strategy doesn’t need to be a 50 page document or be complicated.

It can be as short as 2 pages, as long as it has the right information for YOUR business on it.

I’m mentioning both a marketing strategy and a marketing plan, because the two are very different but they can be created as one.

Let’s first look at what each of the terms mean and what they include, and then we’ll dive deeper into each of them.

A marketing strategy is the ‘why’ behind your marketing efforts.

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Website: www.newschoolofmarketing.com
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Facebook group: @newschoolofmarketing
Instagram: @bianca_mckenzie

 

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Transcript

Hey, welcome back to the podcast, or if this is your first time listening to the New School of Marketing Podcast, welcome.

In case you don’t know, I’m based in Melbourne, Australia and we’ve just had almost 4 months of the strictest lockdowns in the world where we were not allowed to leave our homes for anything except 4 reasons. We had an evening curfew, were only allowed to go outside for 2 hours per day, have to wear masks and couldn’t travel further than 5km from our home.

It was tough. Very tough.

But last week we were given a little bit more freedom. We can now travel 25km from home and retail and hospitality industries are slowly reopening. I’m very excited to be able to see some friends soon and get back into horse riding.

I hope that you’re well, where-ever in the world you are.

Today I want to talk about the importance of creating a marketing plan and strategy.

I know, not something you probably want to do but it’s so incredibly important to the success of your business so listen in.

Marketing plans and strategies seem to have a bit of a bad reputation, or maybe they’re a bit snore-worthy in your eyes but I’m hoping this episode will change your mind.

A marketing plan and/or strategy doesn’t need to be a 50 page document or be complicated.

It can be as short as 2 pages, as long as it has the right information for YOUR business on it.

I’m mentioning both a marketing strategy and a marketing plan, because the two are very different but they can be created as one.

Let’s first look at what each of the terms mean and what they include, and then we’ll dive deeper into each of them.

A marketing strategy is the ‘why’ behind your marketing efforts.

This document is overarching and supports your business objectives.

A marketing strategy focuses on high-level things like the products you offer, your niche, your brand guidelines, competitors etc.

In simpler terms, it outlines what products or offers you will deliver, who you will deliver it to, how you will deliver it, and who your competitors are.

Your marketing strategy helps you make the most of your investment, keep your marketing focused, and measure your sales results.

A marketing plan is the action, the roadmap, behind your marketing efforts.

This document supports your marketing strategy.

A marketing plan focuses on specific initiatives, measurables and tactics to reach your marketing goals.

In simpler terms, it outlines what you will do, how and where you will do it, when you will implement, and how you will track success.

Your marketing plan supports your strategy and is the action plan that you’ll use to implement your marketing efforts.

Ok, so hopefully that cleared it up for you and you can put the wheels in motion to create a marketing strategy and then your marketing plan.

Grab a pen and paper so you can write down any ideas you might have during this episode. If you’re listening to this episode while you’re driving you’ll have to try to remember your ideas or listen back later.

First up, your marketing strategy and why it’s important to have one.

In your marketing strategy you want to focus on the bigger picture.

  • Think about what products or services you are going to offer?
  • Think about who would be your ideal client for this product or service?
  • How are you going to deliver your product or service?
  • Will it be a physical product or a service?
  • If it’s a service, is it going to be delivered remotely (such as copywriting) or do you need to get together with your ideal client (for example if you’re a personal trainer)?
  • Think about who your competitors are and what they are currently doing?

Your marketing strategy needs to come before your marketing plan. It’s important to know what you are going to sell, who you’ll be selling it to and how you’ll deliver it.

Your strategy isn’t necessarily a document that changes all the time. Once your business is established you’ll know what you’re delivering and who your ideal client is. This won’t change much unless you start offering new products or services and your ideal client changes.

Once you’ve created your marketing strategy, only then can you create your marketing plan.

Your marketing plan is about all of the actions you will take to attract your audience and get them to work with you.

In your marketing plan you will most likely focus on:

Your website and branding.
So, does your website copy and messaging resonate with your ideal audience?
Is it set up to attract leads and get people to take action?
Are you establishing yourself as the authority and expert?
Is your content helpful and does it provide value?

Your content strategy and plan.
What content do you already have?
Is it aligned with your marketing campaigns?
Do you need to make any changes to engage your audience?
Does your content resonate with your audience and make them take action?

Channels
When marketers talk about channels they mostly refer to the way in which you can attract and communicate with your audience. So in this case, what channels will you use to reach your audience?
Where does your ideal client spend their time online and offline?
Which channels will you use to attract clients?

Social media plan
Think about how you’re using social media and how you’re engaging with thought leaders and influencers?
Are you replying back to people who comment?
How often do you post on social media?
What KPI’s are you tracking to measure the success of your social media activity?

Timeline
For every marketing activity or campaign that you do, you need to have a timeline.
Setting a timeframe helps you track and measure the success and effectiveness of your marketing activities.

Budget & resources
What amount of money and time are you dedicating to advertising, website development and maintenance, social media, events and any marketing that you do?
Also, what resources are you dedicating to your marketing. For example, are you outsourcing to a social media manager or ad advertising agency?

Responsibilities
If you have a team, have you identified who is responsible for each part of the implementation? Who is creating the designs? Who is writing the content? Who is posting on social media?

Your marketing plan is the nitty gritty and the details of what you will be doing to support your marketing strategy.

So, now that we’ve talked about what each one of these are, let’s look at why a marketing strategy and a marketing plan are important.

It’s quite simple actually.

Without a roadmap or a GPS you’re not going to get to your desired destination. At least not without a few detours and possibly costly mistakes.

Your marketing strategy is there to drive your why behind your marketing. Without knowing why you’re doing it and having your offers mapped out, and knowing who your audience is it would be incredibly difficult to make any sales in your business.

Your marketing strategy is the backbone of all of your marketing.

Without knowing what you’re offering it’s hard to describe to your audience what you can offer them.

Without knowing your ideal clients, who they are and where they spend their time it’s hard to find them and communicate with them.

Having a marketing plan is important because it goes into the finer details of attracting people to your business and communicating your message.

Developing a marketing strategy and plan means that you’re taking a professional and well thought out approach to reaching your business goals.

Your strategy and plan will help you clearly plan out who is going to do what and by when. Even if it’s just you doing all the work at the start.

It’ll help you allocate resources and budgets to specific marketing tasks and tactics.

Your marketing strategy is incredibly important because you need to know who you are trying to reach and sell to.

Knowing your ideal client is one of the most important parts of marketing.

Also, having a marketing strategy and plan means that you’re serious about your business and it will make you look professional.

A step by step, straightforward approach is always better than a messy bunch of stuff to do.

Just as you wouldn’t build ikea furniture without the instructions, you shouldn’t try to market your business without a strategy and a plan.

So if you don’t already have a strategy and a plan, schedule some time into your calendar to sit down and map everything out.

Even if what you have right now is a messy list of things you do, sit down with it and reorganise it in a more strategic and structured way.

You will get more clarity from it and you’ll start seeing better results.

I hope that this episode has been helpful to you and you’ll take the next step in your business building journey.

Go create your marketing strategy and I look forward to connecting with you in next week’s episode.

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