Elevating Your Marketing Plan
We're excited to present our latest e-miniseries, "Elevating Your Marketing Plan," exclusively brought to you by the Elevate team. Oftentimes, our clients come to us with two things in mind: they know they want to take their business to the next level with marketing and PR services, but they have no idea where to start. Our first response is usually, "Do you have a marketing plan in place?" While answers to this question may vary, rest assured there is no right or wrong here and we're happy to help our clients in any stage of the planning process. Our three-month e-miniseries is comprised of easy-to-implement tips designed to help you kick start your very own marketing plan.
Episode 1: What's the Plan?
Part 1 - Identify Your Goals and Objectives
What do you hope to achieve with marketing and PR services? Be as specific as possible. While making more revenue may be your overall goal, identify how you plan to do that. For example, placing an additional focus on repeat customers, expanding your product inventory, offering more services, etc.
A S.W.O.T (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis is also encouraged at this stage of the planning process. This is a great tool to assess your business's strengths as well as avoid (or at least be prepared) for future challenges and shortcomings. S.W.O.T analyses can be very constructive and will give you the foundation to create S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) objectives.
Cutting Edge PR recommends these four parts be in each objective you write:
an infinitive verb
a single outcome stated as a receiver of a verb's action
the magnitude of the action expressed in quantifiable terms
a target date or time frame for achieving the outcome
Think you've got it? Let's try it together.
Here's an example of a not-so-good objective: To increase awareness of our Sunday brunch special
A little better: To increase awareness of our Sunday brunch special among Placer County Community members
Strong business objective: To increase awareness of our Sunday brunch special among Placer County community members by 30 percent by Jan. 1, 2018
Part 2 - Do Your Research
Research is perhaps the most overlooked stage in the planning process. Interestingly, it is one of the most important stages of the process too. Every business decision you make should stem from informed research. According to Inc., "the goal [of research] is simply to better understand who and where you customers are." Essentially, good research helps you identify your target audience, the results of which may surprise you.
Contrary to popular belief, conducting research does not have to be expensive. Affordable, primary research options include user-friendly tools like Survey Monkey, focus groups and one-on-one interviews with your customers. Thanks to the internet, secondary research is easily accessible from a plethora of sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, your local chambers of commerce offices, industry and trade publications, etc. Your research will navigate the rest of your plan - don't forget (or rush) this critical step of the process!
Stay tuned for the latest episode in our miniseries next month, "Strategies and Tactics!"