A strategic marketing plan allows your business to grow in your desired direction. Take the time to define your company goals. This keeps you moving your business in the direction you dictate. Here are some ways to align your goals with your marketing plan.
Create a Vision Board
You have likely been mulling this business idea for quite a while. You may be scribbling notes in an app or saving sticky pages. A vision board is an easy way to store your business objectives. It is a visual tool where you put your ideas in one place. Glue on a photo of a building design inspiration. Attach a press release example to use as a template for future releases. Save notes about a not-for-profit organization your business will support.
Create SMART Goals
Your marketing plan is only as effective as the quality of your goals. Write down quantifiable objectives that support short- and long-term objectives. Write these goals down, verifying they are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Examples of well-written goals include:
- Increase sales volume by 10% every month
- Identify 30 new leads in the first quarter of the year
- Decrease expenses over the next fiscal year by 12%
- Maintain at least a 4.8-star online review rating
Balance Your Focus
Your marketing strategy is a balancing act. You must see how each part – product, promotion, distribution, and pricing – interact and support each other. Putting 90% of your effort into promotional development will not be effective if you ignore the price of your product. You can work with a focus group to find the perfect price, but it will only sell if you know your market will use your product. Regardless spent on each component of your plan, all must function as a cohesive unit.
Remember Your Research
Always keep your eyes on your target audience. These people are your primary consumers. If you change your strategy or product, ask yourself, “Will my audience support this?” Maintain long-term growth by keeping your customer at the core of your short-term decisions. If you are considering moving into a new market to increase your share, both markets must be able to support your product.
Identify Marketing Vehicles
Marketing vehicles are the tools that transmit your message to the target market. Take the time to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Not all marketing vehicles are as effective as others. As you understand the characteristics of your target market, you must examine how they interact with each marketing vehicle. This allows you to select the most appropriate tools to support your strategy. The most common marketing vehicles are:
- Social media
- Television advertising
- Google promotions
- Direct mailings
Consider Your Budget
Establish your advertising budget early, and stick to it. It is easy to be swayed into spending more on advertising. Your goals and target market must be aligned. This allows you to understand how your spending impacts customers purchasing decisions. As with any budget, keep track of your marketing expenses. If you find yourself increasing your budget, you may need to streamline your short-term goals.
Encourage Repeat Business
It is more expensive to attract a new customer than keep an existing one. Organizations that build customer-focused lead nurturing strategies establish long-term relationships with their clients. Dynamic marketing strategies show how your company helps customers with their challenges. For example, creating videos describing time management tips benefits everyone, from college students to entrepreneurs. These non-promotional items are courtesies that keep your customers returning to your website.
As with most things in business, stay flexible. The environment can change quickly, and you need the flexibility to adapt. During an economic downturn, you may need to restructure your business strategy. These challenging times can cause you to lose focus on your original business goals. Make sure that the change keeps you aligned with your long-term objectives. While it may slow down your progress, keep your eye on building a successful enterprise.
Keeping your goals focused on these objectives helps you establish a successful company. While there may be times you need to modify your goals, by keeping your original goals in focus, you will keep your company on course.