You have your business, but how do you grow it? You may have customers and you may have sales, but perhaps you want to increase those numbers? Then you definitely need a marketing plan! A decent marketing plan explains everything you need to help gain numerous more customers and help to make your business even more of a success. Below, we’ve brought together all the sections you need in your marketing plan. Follow these, and you’ll be on your way to unlimited customers in no time at all!
1. Executive Summary
Although this is the first section of your marketing plan, you must complete this one last! This is because it summarises each of the other sections, and creates signposts for readers to find exactly what they want easily and quickly. It helps to give an overview to whoever is reading.
2. Target Customers
This section is based around your customers. Who do you wish to target? Explain their demographics (age, gender, etc.), psychographics (interests), and what their needs are in relation to your product or service. This way, you can pinpoint exactly who you wish to advertise to.
3. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
You may already know about this, since it should really be why you have your product or service! Being unique is important as it helps to keep you apart from your competitors easily; after all, it is difficult to sell something that someone else is already selling well.
4. Pricing & Positioning Strategy
Here, you must detail your positioning in the market and the price to match. Make sure they’re aligned so that customers have faith in your brand – if you offer luxury but have a cheap cost, it may stop people from buying from you.
5. Distribution Plan
How will your customers buy from you? Are they going to buy directly from you, or are they going to go through other retailers? Document all of this in this section, and think about the different ways to reach your customers.
6. Your Offers
These are the special deals that you are thinking of using in order to pull in new customers and bring back past ones. It could be a free trial, a package, or money-back guarantee; you may not necessarily need them all of the time, but you’ll be able to use them every so often to give your company a boost.
7. Marketing Materials
These are any items that you use to promote your company, such as leaflets, flyers, brochures, business cards, catalogues, or even your website. Explain which of these you already have, and which you need created or improved upon here.
8. Promotions Strategy
Similar to the previous section, this one details how you are going to reach your new customers. It can include television adverts, press releases, and online or event marketing. It’s worth detailing all of these and why these are the most effective ways of reaching the customers you want to market to.
9. Online Marketing Strategy
Using an online marketing strategy can help you to really get the most out of being online. It can help you to gain competitive advantage, which is important! The four aspects to your online marketing strategy are:
- Keyword Strategy: What keywords do you think your customers will search for to get to you?
- Search Engine Optimisation: What updates will you make to your site to ensure that it reaches the highest slot for search?
- Paid Online Advertising Strategy: What programs will you use to reach your target customers?
- Social Media Strategy: How will you use social media platforms for your business?
10. Conversion Strategy
How are you going to turn your prospective customers into actual buyers? Document this here. It could be by showing reviews, or by improving your website. We have a brilliant infographic on the topic here if you want to learn more!
11. Joint Ventures & Partnerships
These are the relationships you have with other companies in order to help bring in new customers. Find companies who complement your services, and see if they have a list of customers that you can target. Think about what customers buy before or after they buy your product or service, and where they get these items from.
12. Referral Strategy
How are you going to reward customers who refer other people to become customers? If every one of your customers referred just one other person, your customer base would soon grow. Figure out exactly what you are going to give those customers as an incentive.
13. Strategy for Increasing Transaction Prices
Analysing the amount that each customer spends in each transaction can help you find out a lot. Say if you see that your customers only average around £100 in each transaction but your competitors’ customers average around £150 per transaction, then you need to think about increasing your prices or creating packages, perhaps.
14. Retention Strategy
How are you going to keep your customers? Make sure that they don’t just buy from you once by using strategies such as a loyalty program, a monthly newsletter, or even by giving offers to those long-standing customers.
15. Financial Projections
Finally, you need to include all of your financial projections. All of the expenses you expect and your profits, sales, etc. all need to be here. It won’t be perfect, but you need to have some form of estimate to really see if your business is going to be profitable and worthwhile!
This may seem like an awful lot of work, but it is essential to increasing both your sales and profits. Work on your plan over some time and make sure it’s the best it can be, because it’s going to help your business to no end!