Have you just started an online business? Do you know what a marketing plan is? Look – you can’t go blindly into this thing; there are several key steps that you need to follow before venturing into an online business and writing down a marketing plan is one of them.
Why is it important, you’d ask? Firstly, it helps in many aspects of your business and keeps your priorities straight. It will not only help you place and promote your product or service in the marketplace but it will also ensure that you achieve every strived goal and hit the right targets.
Of course, not everything will be handed to you on a plate; you would have to do your share of research, invest time and be committed to this task. In the end, writing a marketing plan will be rewarding, teach you valuable lessons and contribute significantly to your success.
Importance of a Marketing Plan
• Writing a marketing plan will give you a chance to not just identify your targeted audience but it will also help you understand your product and service so that you will be able to meet your needs.
• It will help you figure out who your competitor is and aid you in recognizing their strengths and weaknesses.
• By writing a marketing plan, you’ll be able to position your brand and products strongly in front of your competitors.
• It will help you set specific goals that you’ll also be able to measure and compare.
• And lastly, you will be able to map out a strategy that will help you reach your targeted audience in a much effective way, with stronger and more appealing messages and tools for conversions.
If you wish to write a marketing plan for your next business endeavour, make sure that you follow the following steps.
Study the Industry Structure
Figure out how your industry works; this includes associations, statistics and career benchmarks. It is vital to understand how your industry operates with other industries, its affiliates, etc.
You can start by asking the following questions: Is there potential? Is the industry comparatively large? Are there any factors that might influence the nature of this industry you operate in? What about its position overseas? Do you think it helps in making large profits? Who are the leading champions in this industry? What about the size of the market shares that these big names hold?
Conduct Market Research
Like we said earlier, it’s crucial to conduct market research. You need to collect and organize information related to your target market. It’s absolutely critical that you identify consumer needs and understand where exactly your business fit in the picture.
As a businessperson, you need to work out how to fit your product into the market; where should you position your product or service?
You may start with simple questions. Do you know who your targeted audience is? Do you know their personality and needs? Can your product help them? Can your product help them better than the product your competitors are selling?
Define Customer Profiles
After conducting thorough research, you would have a proper customer profile in your mind. This is a significant piece of information as you’d know who exactly you’re catering to. In order to establish your market, you need to determine the needs of your customers.
Like, if you’re selling a shampoo, do your customers have trouble with dandruff or do they have a problem with frizzy hair? Depending on their problem, you’ll figure out their needs and how to meet them.
Think of it this way: your potential customer needs to have a gender, age, preference, income, family size, location, and dislikes. Now tailor your marketing plan accordingly.
Conduct a SWOT analysis
Now you have to understand your own product. By applying SWOT analysis, you’ll be better equipped to understand your weaknesses and strengths. You will analyze the product or service objectively so that your business could improve.
Furthermore, this step will also allow you to identify your opportunities and threats. You can’t go blind because it will impact your business. And also, it’s significant that you identify your strengths as they’ll open up more venues and success for you.
Study the Competition
Your threats are external and internal, and they are direct and indirect. There will be businesses out there who sell the same product as you and some who sell products that are going to be substituted for your product. You also need to be aware of your benefits and those provided by the competition.
Once you’ve established that, you’ll be able to determine how to beat them. Thus, figure out how your competitors compete in the market, how they interact with their customers, and how they sell their products.
Set Your Objectives
Of course, you will be clueless and lose track of goals if you don’t set business objectives. Decide your long-term plans and goals along with short-term goals and plans. This is the only way you can expand your business and make it profitable.
Outline Your Marketing Strategies
Now that you know who your competition, potential customers are and what their needs are, it’s time for you to outline your marketing strategies. Think of all the goals – long-term and short-term – and put your ideas on paper.
Make sure that your strategy is aligned with your goals and values, they should also meet the needs and wants of your customers, and they should also help you beat your competition.
Set Your Marketing Budget
Of course, everything will go in the trash if you don’t establish a marketing budget for your product. You have to calculate all the money that is needed to run the campaign and meet advertising objectives. Be aware – promotions are expensive and so you have to make every move smartly.
Hope you now understand how to write a marketing plan. Now, if ever there’s a service, like professional assignment help, or even a product, you won’t have a problem marketing it to potential customers.