If the idea of putting together a marketing plan is enough to make you bang your head against your keyboard, take a deep breath and read on. Marketing plans don’t have to be intimidating creatures. In fact, the simpler they are, the more functional they can be.
Step 1: Start with a Blank Sheet
Sometimes the simple act of writing can help you overcome your fears. Start with a Google doc or a physical piece of paper. Whatever will get you writing.
Step 2: Think About Your Product
Sometimes we’re too busy focusing on the day-to-day and don’t take time to really consider what makes our products special. List the competitive advantages yours has.
Step 3: Consider Your Audience
Who buys your product? Where are these people hanging out online, and where do they like getting their marketing messages?
Step 4: List Marketing Channels
Start by listing all the possible places you could market your business, then whittle down the list to the ones your target audience uses the most. You don’t need to go for breadth; focus on depth and just market through a few key channels for best results.
Step 5: Develop Strategies
Each channel you decide to work with should have its own strategy. For example, plan to update your Facebook page every day and draw X new likes per week through the great content you provide.
Step 6: Set a Budget
Likewise, each type of marketing you use should have a cost associated. Some things like social media may be technically free, but they cost in man hours, so factor that in as a cost.
Step 7: Assign Resources
Having a strategy doesn’t do any good if you don’t assign tasks for each marketing channel. Make sure there’s an owner for each item. If you don’t have a marketing team, that might be you, so make sure it’s feasible to achieve what you’ve set forth.
Step 8: Set up Your Calendar
Step away from the marketing plan document for a moment and set some deadlines for those actions. If your goal is to double your Twitter following by the end of the year, make sure your action items of following X new people a week is on the calendar for you or the task owner.
Step 9: Revisit the Plan
Don’t squirrel away your marketing plan. Take it out and review it quarterly to make sure you’re still on track for your goals.
Step 10: Tweak Annually
A marketing plan is meant to be updated, since marketing tools change so frequently. Stay on top of marketing trends and include those that are relevant in your plan.
Want more free and low-cost marketing tips? Please attend our free webinar, “Low Cost – No Cost Marketing Tools You Can Use to Grow Your Business” on March 7, 2013 at 1 pm Eastern.