Another great article from the most helpful Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency in Hertfordshire.

All businesses should develop a marketing plan, and yet even today so many businesses still do not have a strategic marketing plan! Your marketing plan should consist of your projected weekly and monthly marketing activities, together with your estimated budget spend, for a minimum period of six months in advance.

The following steps explain how you create a marketing plan:

1. Decide on your budget

The first step is to decide how much money your business can afford to commit over the next six months towards your marketing budget. You need to be economical, but also realistic on what marketing you need to do, and where, in order to generate your sales leads and close the orders.

2. Define your target market

One of the most common mistakes here is to answer “everyone”, well this is a completely inaccurate answer, actually there is no products/and or services existing which appeals to everyone!  What you need to do is define on paper who is ‘most likely’ to buy your products/and or services and target them. If the target market your products/and or services can appeal to contains a varioud groups of people, then your marketing messages will need to be written specifically to appeal to each different group identified. For example, you may well need different marketing material to appeal to teenagers than you would to appeal to a retired person, despite the product/and or service being the same. In the same way, just be conscious that different markets usually require different marketing styles and methods to attract leads.

3. Decide on the best marketing methods for your type of business

There are many different methods how you can market your business, and you will need to do some research on which methods are best for your particular products/and or services. One of the best ways to do this is to research what your competitors are doing. Another good approach is to survey some people, which are in your target market group(s) to see which marketing methods they feel would appeal to them the most. You will, of course, be governed to a certain extent on what you can do depending on your marketing budget. Also bear in mind that online marketing is great for most things, but if for example you are selling mobility aids for elderly people, the chances are online marketing will not be the best way to market your products as a large percentage of elderly people do not use the internet.

Some of the most popular tried and tested marketing methods include:

  • Ensure you have a current well written, SEO friendly, and responsive website. This is your online shop window to a potentially worldwide audience so it is vital to have a compelling online presence, which makes you stand out from your competitors (Read more in our article titled ‘5 Essential Elements which you must have on your Website’).
  • Ensure you have a few key social media channels set up, and linked to your website, in particular Twitter and Facebook. Both these platforms offer the ability to do promoted ads, which can really enhance your brand awareness, and are a lot cheaper than using Google Adwords. You can read more about these platforms for advertising in our other articles titled ‘How to Make your business rock on Facebook’, and ‘5 ways to promote your business on Twitter’.
  • Create a few videos about your products/and or services and place them on YouTube, your website and on your social media channels. Video can explain and promote your business in a way no other medium can do, and is great marketing material.   
  • Google Adwords is a great way to promote your business. You do need to set a total budget here as it can be quite costly.
  • Build an Email List from your website, and then send out regular Newsletters to your subscribers.
  • Using direct mailing lists. Be sure to use a reputable company to purchase your list from, and ensure their lists are current, and not out of date. If someone can recommend a company they have used for this purpose so much the better. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of the flyer and postage into the total cost of this marketing method.
  • Adverts in local newspapers are always a good way of promoting your business and well worth trying. If you have a unique angle or special promotion you could always try phoning up the local newspaper to see if they would be interested in running an article on your business. If your target market is further afield you could always submit an article to PR Web, and they will get it published for you across numerous magazines, journals, and newspapers, for a very reasonable fee.
  • Try doing a local radio broadcast these can be very effective in getting your brand noticed in your immediate area.

4. Define a schedule and stick to it

Select the marketing methods that you consider will best suit your products/and or services and your marketing budget, also think about how and in which order you might proceed with each marketing method selected. 

Now allocate how much of your total budget you are willing to spend on each method, and finalise in which order you will do them onto your six month marketing plan schedule.  You are now ready to start implementing your marketing plan, but make sure you stick to it!

You can now appreciate the importance of having a marketing plan, and once you have done one and stick to it you will soon start to see the benefits.

Thank you for reading our article and we hope you found it useful.  If you would like us to assist you with any of your marketing material for your business please contact us on 01438 906200, we would love to help you.

Good luck with your marketing from Advenzia, the most helpful Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency in Hertfordshire.