3 min read –
We all know marketing is an integral tool for any business. It’s a vehicle for self-promotion and can boost growth and sustainability. But going it alone can be daunting, and one of the first questions we are asked is ‘where do I start’?
The answer is… start strong, with a marketing plan.
Define the markets you’re targeting, the key benefits your customers are looking for and what your competitors claim to be doing. You can write a marketing plan on the back of the proverbial cigarette packet if you wish… we wouldn’t advise that as a) you’ll probably lose it, and b) there isn’t going to be room for a whole lot of substance. The point is of course that in writing something down you are beginning to think and plan your future marketing activities, rather than take the approach of ‘let’s just wait and see what crops up and see if we can get a good deal.’
Not the dreaded SWOT analysis
Well yes, because it works! In your marketing plan, however you develop it, identifying your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) gives you a foundation to build your messages on. Decide on the appropriate message for your target audience and develop marketing objectives – these will guide your future activities and ensure you maximise your strengths and opportunities. They will also allow you to set benchmarks and KPI’s, that enable you to measure the success of your marketing over time.
Quantity over Quality
Talking of measuring success, in the world of B2B marketing it is clear that traditional methods of measuring success – click-through rates, impressions, cost per click etc – are not the panacea they once were. Just because you get hundreds of new visitors to your website, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will translate into new sales, as it very much depends on your target audience. So, measuring success is shifting towards quality over quantity. We will explore some ways of how you measure success in a future blog – stay tuned.
Once you have gained some momentum, keep it going; develop a communications plan that highlights marketing tools that enable you to achieve your objectives. Produce a plan for a 6 to 12-month period to outline when your marketing activities will occur, and then refer to it and keep it updated and fresh.
Marketing planning isn’t rocket science, but it is genius and a great way to get you thinking.
If you are at that starting point, and would like a no-obligation chat, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01202 682322