Today, take a minute to play the role of a typical marketing agent. In other words, write your marketing ideas on sticky notes and post them on the wall in a nice circle. Then, blindfold yourself with your tie (or scarf), heave a fistful of darts at them, and (viola) use those ideas that are struck by the darts in your upcoming campaign.
Now, realistically, we all understand and realize that marketing professionals and business owners don’t typically throw darts at their ideas…well, at least not all the time. But, in all seriousness, the primary job of a successful marketing professional or business owner:
Effective communication that elicits buying behavior(s) through efficient means.
However, as your company’s marketing guru, you also have to fine tune your efforts. So, instead of spinning your wheels each and every month, increase your ability to realize success through the establishment of a marketing plan. But, before you do, make sure you abide by these eight components of a marketing plan that your business cannot live without.
- Specific Target Audience — A large obstacle that all businesses face it to determine a target audience. Yes, it would be nice for everyone and their family to fall in love with the products/services that you provide, but you need to be realistic in the sense that it will happen like that. Instead, be understanding of your audience and make the best attempt to be very precise with regard to the demographics of your ideal clientele.
- Aggressive Yet Realistic Goals & Objectives — While you may want to raise the bar in comparison to the previous year’s actual figures, it’s important for you to set the marketing bar realistically as well. Base your goals on your company’s trends, and establish short as well as long term objectives to measure the successes of the marketing efforts. Again, be sure that you are as specific and measurable as possible.
- Keep Your Eye on the Competition — The saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Now, your competition may not, in fact, be your enemy, but they are a threat to the livelihood of your business. To detour these potential effects, make sure you identify the competition and their capabilities. In other words, take a look at what they have done in the past, what they are current doing, and analyze the trend to determine what they will do in the future for their marketing efforts. This information will help better position your brand and target your message.
- Create (and Stick To) a Marketing Budget – Budget is key to marketing success. Maintain the budget that you have to truly gain a leg up in the analysis of campaign efficacy. So, set aside a specific dollar amount per month or per quarter. evaluate your marketing decisions, and actively track each initiative. Overall, this will allow you to decide which marketing efforts are worth keeping and which ones your company is better off without.
- Vary Distribution Channels — Now that you have all the background information and the planning stages are over, it is high time for you to identify key marketing tactics for your business. Take the time to brainstorm a menu of ideas that will effectively reach your target audience. Mix creativity with reality and customer feedback. And, conclude by selecting at least 5 different activities (or methods) that can demonstrate what you have planned in your budget.
- Action Steps Mean Actual Results — Marketing campaigns don’t just begin and end with research and execution. Instead, there are many intricate pieces that need to be put into place prior to the follow-through of the efforts. So, set the proverbial road map with multiple meaningful destinations, and take the time to detail a list of benchmarks along the way to your desired outcome.
- Rely on Timelines and Deadlines — Without a doubt, people are driven by time. In fact, the majority of what we do (and don’t do) is based on the amount of time that we have left in a given period (of time). As you move forward with your marketing campaign, make sure you set timing for each step that you list throughout the action items. Make sure that you are realistic with the time expectations on given projects, and be sure to follow through with consequences if those time-frames are not met. At the same time, be careful not to set goals so far out in the future that there is no sense of urgency for you or your team to take action.
- Accountability Increases Efficacy — If you truly consider effective marketing as one of the facets to drive business (both new and returning) to your company, it is detrimental for you to achieve and maintain accountability. Think about this for a second: Even the best marketing plans will fail when the people implementing them are not held accountable. Therefore, it is absolutely critical to your results to have someone hold you accountable for taking charge and executing your plan. Consider “hiring” a person to help write your plan. This will not only help you in the long run, but it may also help brainstorm ideas for future marketing.
Should you need any help with your marketing campaigns, promotional materials, or just need some consulting help please don’t hesitate to contact IMPACT today. And, please feel free to leave your comments and feedback to this post below!
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