By Caroline Creedon
Marketing Planning (Part One)
Who’s your target market? What do you know about them?
If the answer isn’t everything, you’ve still got some work to do. (Hint: There’s always work to do when it comes to marketing your business, no matter how much you know.)
I sat down with marketing guru Megan from SOHO Media Group to get some expert tips on market planning for business owners.
Everyone can plan ahead, filling in your calendar with social posts and eDMs isn’t necessarily a huge undertaking, but what it really takes to have a successful marketing plan is a thorough understanding of the following 4 things:
Without these four key elements, your marketing strategy will likely fall short. The early stages of your marketing plan should be focused on doing the research to develop your grasp of all four aspects of your business operations.
When you’re mapping out a marketing strategy, start with a trial-and-error process and a brand discovery session to fully understand what works best for your unique business.
Every brand, business, and company has a unique personality with a distinct voice, vision, and identity that separates them from competitors and helps customers identify with them. If you aren’t already 110% clear on what that personality looks and sounds like, it’s time to dig deeper.
SOHO Media Group offers a really fantastic brand discovery workshop to help brands immerse themselves in their business personalities and lay out all their goals in terms of connecting with their target audience and positioning themselves in their target market.
This brand discovery workshop essentially covers 6 key foundations of every marketing strategy:
Now that we understand all the research and thought that goes into preparing a market plan, you’re probably wondering when it’ll be time to actually implement all that knowledge and how far ahead you should start planning?
Every business is unique. Ideally, you want to be looking at at least 2 months in advance so you’re not rushing to get things out last minute. Another thing to keep in mind is that people generally have an annual budget they’re working from, which is particularly relevant if you’re in a B2B market. Regardless of how far ahead you feel you need to plan, the point is that you need a clear vision, directive, and purpose to market effectively.
What are the main factors to consider for planning your marketing strategy?
Your customers are the be-all and end-all of your marketing strategy. Know who they are and figure out how to get through to them. Consider all aspects of your marketing including which platforms you’re using, how often you’re putting content out, what sort of language and tone you use, and even what time of day you’re pushing out content. This will make you immediately recognizable, and more importantly, memorable to the right people.
Remember, your marketing plan is not static. While your brand elements will certainly need to be consistent, the way you actually connect with your audience will need to be active and dynamic. Your content might not resonate with everyone right away but think of marketing as a one-way street, with both your business and your ideal customers headed in the same direction. When the timing’s right, eventually you’ll both land at the same intersection.
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