Marketing Plan Chemistry
An effective marketing strategy balances and mixes elements that generate compelling reasons for customers to invest in products or services.
There are three main approaches that a marketing strategy can take;
Acquisition - gaining new customers and sales. Strategies could include advertising, direct mail, digital marketing campaigns or a mixture of activities.
Preservation - maintaining your existing customer base and engaging with customers who are no longer purchasing. Strategies could include rewarding existing customers with a loyalty programme or offering returning customers unique deals and promotional offers. A direct customer communication campaign may be undertaken including regular newsletters and telemarketing.
Upgrading - improving existing products or services, resulting in a greater standard of customer care and therefore repeat business.
In order to build out a robust yearly marketing plan the following steps can be considered:
1. Mission statement
A mission statement defines what a company is, why it exists and reason for being. At a minimum, your mission statement should define who your primary customers are, identify the products and services you produce, and describe the geographical location in which you operate.
2. Corporate objectives
Corporate objectives are those that relate to the business as a whole. Corporate objectives focus on the overall desired performance and expected results of the business. These overarching objectives will of course have an impact on your marketing plan and help define the company inline with the mission.
3. Marketing audits
A marketing audit is an analysis of your current marketing efforts and an assessment of the ways in which it can be improved. Often a marketing audit will highlight just how much content you already have and will give you a great indication of new content to be produced versus existing content that can be re-purposed.
4. SWOT analysis
The SWOT acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
A SWOT analysis is designed to help you understand what differentiates you from your competition, what resources you have to execute upon market opportunity and what might prevent you from seizing opportunities.
It's important to remember that a SWOT can be influenced by those who perform the analysis, so it's a good idea to have an outside consultant review the results to provide the most objective marketing plan.
5. Market assumptions
Assumptions will naturally consist of things that are hard to predict and by nature assumptions can never be 100% accurate, however they are necessary to help build strategic plans.
They may consider many areas including customer requirements, material costs and pricing consistency, regulatory changes, or technological feasibility.
It is essential to come up with assumptions that are well researched and, where possible, qualified. Your assumptions and overall plan should look at things realistically and critically.
6. Develop marketing objectives, and elements of your overall marketing mix
It is important to remember markets are dynamic and therefore your plan should consider what contingency measures you may need to make along the way based on the market assumptions you have made.
Use a marketing funnel approach to help build out your plan.
A marketing funnel describes your customer’s journey with you, all the way from the “awareness” stage to the “purchase” stage. It will help you decide what actions, content and collateral you will need to guide your customer to purchase. Using your marketing audit you will be able to clearly identify opportunities within your funnel to maximise existing content, or understand where content needs to be produced.
7. Estimate expected results and targets against allocated budget
Ensure your targets and budget requirements are well-defined and realistic.
Setting targets can be challenging, however considering the following steps may help you set marketing targets based on the overall business goals:
◦ Identify how much revenue marketing needs to generate from marketing actions
◦ Determine how many sales would be need to hit the revenue goals
◦ Define you closing rates and therefore how many opportunities are needed, you should always refer to existing analytics you may have
◦ Identify how many SQLs (sales qualified leads) and how many MQLs (marketing qualified leads, that would require more nurturing) would be needed
◦ Identify how many raw leads you would need, how many potential customer you need to reach out to, and review your current marketing database visibility
8. Define a programme of action with clear timeline of deliverables