A business cannot survive without effective marketing strategies. It doesn’t matter if you have a home-based business, a modest city-block store or a corporate enterprise – you need to always have a marketing plan.
A business cannot solely depend on walk-in customers or client referrals, it needs to continually reach out and make themselves visible to their market.
However, marketing is not just about advertising. It is more than just buying newspaper ad spaces, distributing flyers and organizing a product launch event.
Marketing is a continuous business activity which aims to create, communicate and deliver value to your customers. Moreover, marketing also involves building and managing your relationship with your customers to ensure long-term growth for your business.
So how do you come up with a good marketing campaign that will achieve all these? Here’s how you can come up with an effective marketing plan in ten simple steps.
Your first task is to decide on the image you want to portray to your market. When they see and hear your brand, what vision do you want them to have in their minds? The answer to this question will be your ultimate guide and inspiration in all subsequent marketing decisions you will make. That’s why this step is also the most important.
After defining your brand image, your next step is to determine who your target market is. What is the demographic data of your consumers? Simply put, who do you think will appreciate and purchase your products and services?
Analyze your offerings and highlight the features that complement your desired image. Furthermore, ask yourself what value does your products and services give your customers? Do you think it’s something worth buying or spending for?
Find the trigger buttons of your customers. Do market research and learn the behavior and spending habits of your target consumers. What is their lifestyle? What motivates them to buy?
Perform a SWOT Analysis of your business. This will help you take stock of your company’s current situation and marketing capabilities. It will also allow you to study your competitors and analyze their current marketing campaigns.
Set your marketing goals. What do you want achieve with this campaign? Make your goals quantifiable such as a target sales amount or a certain number of generated leads. Be realistic and practical with your objectives.
Build your marketing and advertising campaign. This means planning how you will introduce or reinforce your brand to your customers. Keep in mind all the information you got from the previous steps and work within this framework to determine your marketing strategy.
Setup a monitoring and feedback system. Before implementing your marketing plan, it’s important to know how you will consequently measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Likewise, be ready with how you’ll get the opinions and thoughts of your consumers regarding your campaign.
Implement your marketing plan. Remember to stay focused and loyal to it. Closely monitor the performance and gather results consistently. Moreover, be patient and persistent. There’s a saying that goes: Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Study your results and use it as a guide in your next marketing campaign. If your objectives were not met, don’t get discouraged. When a marketing strategy fails, it doesn’t mean that your business will. Simply take the lessons and make your next one better.
I hope this article was able to help you in getting an overview of how an effective marketing campaign is planned and created.
Furthermore, if you seriously want to learn more about effective marketing strategies, then I suggest you read the various books already written about this topic as well as visit the numerous resources on the internet about marketing and business planning.
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Photos courtesy of Mani Nag and EmaStudios
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