Marketing Plan Types, Techniques, and Terminologies
A marketing plan can greatly benefit your business and widen your customer reach. Having a successful marketing strategy can greatly increase your sales and help you reach your business goals by serving as a checklist and a guideline for success. Having a strong marketing campaign and plan, especially for product-based businesses is important because you get to hone in on who exactly your customers are so you can easily find a way to promote your business directly to them.
Marketing is basically how you aim to promote your business and there are several ways to do this successfully. There’s no singular way to market your product or service and each business’ plan will differ from the other even if their end goals are the same; to generate sales. You can find many marketing plan examples but they might not work for you so it’s better to learn why it’s important to have one or get a professional writing service like The Write Direction, to craft one for you.
In this blog, we’ll dissect each part of the plan, how you can write one, how it differs from a marketing strategy, and how you can get the best marketing plan for your business.
Types of Marketing
Marketing can be first traced back to when newspaper and magazine publishing started. People have been engaging in commerce for thousands of years but only recently have we figured out how to market products and services with specific targets in mind and in a more calculated way. When television was invented, commercials were on the rise. And now with the power of social media, marketing has evolved in ways that integrate the newest technologies just as it did back in the print era.
As marketing continues to evolve, businesses should learn how to adapt. So here are ways you can market your business so you can easily decide on a marketing strategy and plan according to Mailchimp.
- Content Marketing
Content marketing works by allowing potential customers to engage with your business’ content while learning about your products and services. Businesses are able to do this by publishing blogs, creating social media posts across various platforms, creating E-books, and guides, or through posting long and short-form videos.
- Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing might not have been a standalone strategy in the past but because of the ever-changing landscapes in marketing, it has evolved into its own tier. Social media marketing is cost-effective, allows businesses to be more targeted, and has such a wide reach that most businesses can thrive on only allocating advertising budgets using social media marketing.
- Influencer Marketing
Just like social media marketing, what was once just a subset of content marketing has turned into a whole new industry of its own. Through influencer marketing, businesses can leverage online personalities and use them to reach the influencers’ following, furthering the chances of generating sales.
- Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing encompasses SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising. Through SEO, businesses can optimize their content so they can increase the rankings of their website on search engines. PPC on the other hand is a marketing strategy that increases the chances of your business’ website appearing on SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).
- Email Marketing
Email marketing is another highly effective social media strategy that allows businesses to reach potential customers directly via email. Email marketing is one of the strategies that have high conversion rates from potential customers to buyers. You can keep your email list with product updates, sales, promotions, and other relevant messages that will keep them in the loop about your company.
- Public Relations
Public relations as a marketing strategy works by building up your business’ reputation through the media. This means creating relationships between the public and your business by building up your image and reputation. The aim of successful PR is to market your business as an authority or leader in the industry which increases brand awareness and builds trust within the public eye.
- Print Marketing
Print marketing’s main advertising avenues are magazines, newspapers, brochures, and even billboards. It might not be as targeted as a marketing strategy, but it definitely has a wide reach. The most targeted print marketing can be through being very particular with the type of magazines or newspapers you choose to print your ads on depending on who their readers are mostly.
- Direct Mail
Direct mail is just the older version of email marketing and instead of a digital mailbox, the print ads get sent to your actual mailbox. Direct mail marketing might not be the most effective nowadays so the best way to get some conversion is to offer your customers a little incentive that will direct them towards your business.
- TV and Radio
Commercials have had their space in TV and radio for the longest time and despite the new marketing techniques that have come up, it remains one of the most efficient ways of advertising. Getting TV and radio time is not the most cost-effective type of marketing though which doesn’t make it an ideal option for smaller businesses.
Marketing Strategy Vs. Plan
If you’re wondering whether your business needs a marketing strategy or a plan, the short answer is both. The two are quite different but they share a common goal; increased brand awareness that is converted into sales.
Essentially, your marketing strategy consists of your long-term company, business, or brand goals and the plan contains the actions that will get you there. Here are the definitions of both so you can easily distinguish them.
According to Investopedia, a business’s marketing strategy is its “game plan”. It’s their play for how they can reach their target market and turn them into paying customers. Marketing strategies will differ depending on the business’s value proposition or their answer to why customers should choose their products or services over others. Having a clear understanding of your business’ value proposition makes it easier for you to get that message across to potential customers, investors, and your company’s marketing team. The contents of your marketing strategy are more constant than possibly changing plans. To create a marketing strategy is to view your company in the bigger picture while marketing plans are more specific depending on different marketing campaigns.
The biggest takeaway from having a successful marketing strategy is getting to communicate clearly what your business’s competitive advantage is. You can easily do this by understanding what your customers want and need through thorough market research. No matter if it’s social media ad campaigns or print ads, your marketing assets will be judged by how well you are able to stick to the company’s core value proposition. It’s also very important to strategize for marketing so you can direct all your efforts toward where it’ll have the most impact.
How Do You Make A Marketing Strategy Action Plan?
- Identify your goals
Before your company reaches its ultimate goal which is generating sales, there are smaller steps that you should prioritize so that you will easily get to your end goal. These steps could be establishing authority, getting more engagement on your channels from potential customers, and lead generation. Identifying your short-term goals and creating a strategy to achieve that first will be the concrete steps towards your business’s long-term goals as well.
- Know who your target audience is
Each business and company has a specific target market. Not every product or service will be applicable to everyone so be sure to know who you’re going to want as your customers. Having a set demographic will make it easier for you to reach them because data will allow you to find out what their needs are and where you can find them. It’s important to be clear on who your target market is so you can also be clear on how you plan to improve their day-to-day lives.
- Be clear with your messaging
The third step after you decide on your company’s goals and who you’ll be reaching out to is figuring out the message you’ll be sending. Your messaging should appeal to your potential customers and you tell them reasons why your business is the one they should be supporting. Your messaging can include what sets you apart from other similar businesses and how much your business cares about improving their customers’ experience.
- Decide on a budget
When your message is clear, you’ll first have to decide how much you can invest in making sure the right people get it. Being clear about your budget will allow your business to decide which avenues and channels to broadcast your message. Your budget dictates what your business can afford to do marketing-wise, whether it’s trying to get organic reach on social media by going viral or paying for online ads, the next step will be clearer after making a set budget.
- Determine where you’ll communicate with your audience
Now that you have a budget, you can decide on the channels to broadcast your message. Content is king in advertising and marketing and many businesses thrive on different things. Some options could be through publishing blogs, paying for online advertising on several social media channels, or through more traditional advertisements. Your venue will mostly depend on where your content will be most appropriate and where your target market usually spends most of its time.
- Check your metrics
To know whether your strategy is working, you’ll need to constantly check metrics to measure the success of your action plan. By checking the metrics, you can determine things like whether or not your target audience is seeing your content. By gathering this data, you can analyze further and make adjustments as needed.
What Is A Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan outline contains how it will implement all the company’s goals and objectives from its marketing strategy. The plan is basically a document that defines the exact platforms the business needs to penetrate in order to reach its target market. Planning ahead allows your business to be specific about how you will market yourselves.
The American Marketing Association defines the 4 P’s of marketing which are product, price, place, and promotion. To be able to market your business better, you’ll need to understand these 4 P’s so that you can plan accordingly.
The product is what your company sells, it might not even be a physical product but a service. An ideal situation is for your business to fulfill an already existing demand in the market but that doesn’t mean your business can’t thrive in a highly competitive market. That’s where proper marketing planning comes in. The price is the value you set for whatever your business offers its customers. It’s important to set the right price so that your business can drive up as many sales as possible and you can set that price as it relates to the product’s real and perceived values. The place pertains to where your product or service is available. Whether it’s in-store or online, learn where your customers can easily access your product. The final P stands for promotion. The goal of promoting your product is to persuade your future customers to buy your product or avail of your service. You can do this through PR, advertising, and social media campaigns while telling consumers your business is worth trusting.
Reasons Why Your Business Can Benefit From Planning Your Marketing
Overlooking planning how you will market your business whether you have a product or service might just be what makes or breaks it. Yes, there are many businesses that succeed with little to no advertising or marketing schemes, but these are mostly for businesses that offer products or services that are either basic necessities or fall on the baseline of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. After all, you barely see advertisements for water, milk, gas, and the like because regardless of inflation, people’s current spending power, or budget, they still have no choice but to make these purchases. If you have a fairly new business and are introducing a whole new product into the market, you will be met with many obstacles. Oversaturation, competition, and a lack of brand recognition will have your business tanking in no time without a proper marketing plan.
If you’re not sure if you need to plan accordingly, here are some reasons to change your mind on why you should plan your marketing.
- Identifying your business goals creates tangible targets for you to easily reach.
- Having a plan keeps you on track and consistent. It’ll also keep all your team members on the same page.
- A plan allows you to stay within the budget.
- Your plan can serve as a reminder of how you can provide better customer service.
- Having clear objectives will guide your business towards your goals instead of steering you away.
- It serves as a guide and motivator for everyone on your team.
- Your business can easily get investors on board to support your clearly outlined goals.
- Plans will let you think in advance and you can be proactive instead of reactive.
- A plan will help you allocate your resources where it’s most needed, allowing you to stay efficient.
- Plans will identify potential challenges which will allow you to have better risk management.
- Targeting your audience will be easier when you know who they are and how to reach them.
- The plan will force you to analyze the market thus understanding consumer needs and behaviors better.
- Plans will help facilitate collaborations and allow you to have more efficient internal communication.
- Having a plan will keep you structured while staying flexible and adaptable to market changes.
- The plan will contain KPIs that will let you measure how successful your strategy has been.
How To Write A Marketing Plan
While there are several different marketing techniques there are 3 distinct types of marketing plans according to Investopedia. New product launch, Social Media, and Time-based. Depending on what your business is trying to achieve based on these 3 plans, each document will have different goals and objectives.
A marketing plan for a new product that is launching will contain strategies for how the product will enter the market, who the target market is, and what advertising techniques the business will use. Your plan to market on social media will vary depending on which platform your business is on because different users across the many social media apps have different engagement behaviors. Plans that are time-based refers to your business’ campaigns that are done quarterly or annually. The plans to market also depend on how the business is at a given point in time and whether you’ll have seasonal promotions or sales that are in theme with certain holidays.
Now this is how to make a marketing plan and the marketing plan steps you need to make:
When creating your plan, keep in mind the business’ value proposition and the goals you’ve laid out in your marketing strategy. The core of your plan should always have your business’ core missions and vision in mind so you never steer too far from your company’s core values. Always be reminded of how your product or service aims to improve the lives of consumers, what the strengths of your business, product, or services are, and why consumers will benefit more from you than your competitors.
KPI stands for key performance indicators. This is how you will measure your business performance and analyze whether you’re succeeding in your strategies or needing to adjust. If your goal is to increase your social media reach and engagement in a given area or within a specific demographic, you can track how successful your plan is by tracking the insights of your business’ social media platforms.
Identify who your target market is and keep them in mind when creating your plan. Doing this step will make it easier for you to decide what advertising avenues your business will choose. Through market research, your business can hone in on who exactly uses the types of products and services you’ll aim to bring into the existing market and demands. Depending on the demographic you’re targeting, it’ll be clearer how you’ll market yourselves.
Strategize and Execute
Your plan should contain every small detail regarding how you’ll execute. From creating advertising to the time and platform of the launch should be included in the plan. Outline exactly whether you’ll take on traditional or digital marketing techniques and even specify the time your advertisements will air if you’re choosing TV or when your ads will be posted on social media.
Planning your marketing will cost money. You could decide to get a marketing plan professionally written for you from companies like The Write Direction which specializes in technical and business writing. Your budget should also cover the actual campaigns your business will be doing. It’ll cost to create content, hire creatives to make ads, and platforms whether on TV or on social media will have costs to run your ads.
Prepare to adjust
The difference between your marketing strategy and your plan is that plans can change because they are not as constant as your strategy. That means you should always prepare to adjust accordingly. If certain campaigns are not producing the results you want, you can pull back on some of the budget. On the other hand, if your chosen advertising avenues are working better, you can increase the budget to further your reach.
Create Your Marketing Strategy and Plan with The Write Direction!
The Write Direction specializes in custom technical and business writing, providing solutions for large and small businesses and even individuals. The Write Direction’s team of excellent writers have crafted business plans, research reports, programmer guides, and even software specifications.
Most importantly, The Write Direction has created many successful new business marketing plans for many businesses throughout the years. Your business no longer needs to copy a marketing plan template when they can get one tailor-made for them here at The Write Direction.
If you’re looking for professionals you can trust to help you with all your business needs, look no further and check out The Write Direction’s services to see what we can do for you.