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Originally Posted On : https://www.buildwithbolt.com/how-to-create-a-marketing-plan-that-drives-business-growth
A marketing plan is essential for business growth but can feel complex and time-consuming. Lucky for you, we’ve written a few marketing plans in our days and know the most efficient way to develop an effective plan!
Follow these four simple steps to create a marketing plan that will move your business forward this year.
#1 Assess your market.
Take a look at your market and write a brief summary of what it’s like and where your business stands. Is there a lot of competition? Is the market growing? Are you leading the pack or falling behind? How could you grow over the next few years? Could technology change the landscape?
A simple way to organize your thoughts is to do a SWOT analysis. Here’s an example for Dana’s Donuts:
#2 Set goals.
Gather your team together and start dreaming! Once you have a list of goals for the year, make sure they’re SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). These goals should be aligned with your overall business objectives and should provide a clear idea of what success looks like in the future. Examples of SMART goals might include increasing website traffic by a certain percentage, generating a certain number of leads, or achieving a specific return on investment (ROI) from your marketing efforts.
During this time, you’ll also need to decide what metrics or KPIs you’ll be measuring so everyone has a clear understanding of what success looks like for each goal.
Here’s an example of a smart goal for Dana’s Donuts to increase revenue.
Specific: Sell 1,000 boxes of donuts this quarter.
Measurable: Dana uses a POS system that tracks every sale and sends her a report each day.
Attainable: Dana needs to sell 12 boxes of donuts a day to reach her goal. She averages ten boxes a day right now, and she’ll be selling coupon books to local schools this quarter and begin online advertising.
Relevant: Dana is considering opening another location but needs to ensure the business is still growing.
Time-bound: This goal should be met in 90 days.
#3 Identify your target audience and the problem you solve.
It’s important to periodically assess your target audience. The people you serve are constantly growing and changing, and their needs are as well. You may have started off serving established business owners, but now they are retiring and passing the business on to the next generation.
Talking to your previous clients is a great way to get quick and accurate information about your target audience. Ask them about what they needed before they worked with you, what competitor they used, and why they decided to work with you.
Once you’ve gathered enough information, you’ll be able to develop buyer personas. A buyer persona is a detailed description of a fictional person who represents your target market. Here are two types of Dana’s Donuts customers.
#4 Set your budget and get planning.
By this point, you should be aware of your market, how you stand out and have some goals ready to be met. Before you get going, you need to set your budget and write out a step-by-step plan explaining how you’ll accomplish your goals.
Dana’s Donuts has a budget of $1200 for marketing each month. Dana is working with a local marketing agency to make sure she’s spending her money wisely. To reach the goal of increasing revenue during the next quarter, Dana’s Donuts will focus on expanding its reach to online audiences with digital advertising and selling coupon books to local schools.
Developing a marketing plan can seem like a daunting task. By following these four steps, you’re sure to have a solid plan that will align your goals with your vision, hold your whole team accountable, and make your clients happier than ever. Here’s to marketing that moves the needle for your business this year.