The Secrets of Effective Marketing Planning

Suzanne Sullivan by Suzanne Sullivan | 17th November 2010

Now is the time to start planning your marketing for the New Year ahead.

Whether you are a sole trader that’s marketing on a shoestring or an SME, developing a marketing plan is vital to ensure you have clear goals and a strategy for achieving them which in turn will lead to increased sales, a larger customer base, and higher profits and growth.

Knowing where to start with a plan can sometimes be a concern and many business owners put off this important task simply because they are too busy with the day to day running of the business.

The marketing plan doesn’t have to be a lengthy document and if tackled in bite size chunks, it won’t eat too much into your working day.

The key is to start the plan now.

Giving yourself a few months in which to write and review your plan will ensure that you go into the New Year with a clearly identified path to business success.

effective marketing planning

Here are some tips on how to construct your plan:

  • For marketing to work, you must set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) marketing goals, commit to them and take small steps each day to accomplish those goals
  • Your Unique Service Proposition (USP) should be based on your strengths, passions, talents and skills that are truly unique to your business
  • When undertaking competitor analysis, don’t get too obsessed with following their every move. It’s far better to follow your customers than your competitors
  • Don’t underestimate the power of a strong brand. How else will you stand out from the crowd without a strong visual identity?
  • When specifying your target audiences, look closely at your most profitable customers to identify similar characteristics. For a fee, you can run your database through Mosaic UK 2009 from Experian which gives you a useful profile of your database
  • Outline tactical marketing activities for the year ahead in your promotional plan and then transfer them into a calendar, preferably one on the wall in your office, showing the activities month by month
  • Don’t forget to outline your methods of measurement & control for quantifying that all important ROI

Need help with your marketing plan?

We can help develop your plan giving you the tools you need to adopt a focused and measured approach to your business in the year ahead. You may even be able to take advantage of funding via Train to Gain’s Leadership & Management programme available from the Skills Council. If you would like to find out more, contact me at Jelly Digital Marketing on 01273 241 061 or 07769 212 629.

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