How to Create a Solid Marketing Plan

goals

As a small business owner in Westchester, NY, one of the top business resolutions you should have this year, and every year, is to have a solid marketing plan.

For those of you who don’t have a plan for 2016, it’s not too late.  You can still start the new year off right by creating your business marketing plan now using our valuable how-to tips.

In need of additional help? If you’re not currently subscribed to our e-newsletter, all you have to do is sign up here and we’ll send you a FREE E-Book that includes a marketing plan template. If you already receive our e-newsletter, but don’t have the E-Book, please email us today and we’ll be delighted to send it to you.

A marketing plan keeps you on track toward your goals and is the ultimate guide to successfully growing your business.

Purpose of a Marketing Plan

The purpose of a marketing plan is to ensure all your marketing communications, and really any activities for that matter, are aimed at helping you remain focused, attain your business goals and reach your sales objectives.

How Often Do I Need a Marketing Plan?

This plan can be annual, semi-annual, or even quarterly. However, I suggest creating a semi-annual, six-month plan, as this will give you enough time to identify and execute your goals, as well as the flexibility to make adjustments based on new trends or market changes.

How to Begin a Marketing Plan

First, you’ll need to identify your business and sales goals – what’s most important to sustaining and growing your business?  I recommend that you identify three “core” goals.  I use an example of a fictional company called “The Nutri Company,” who provides consulting services for childhood nutrition.

The three “core” goals for The Nutri Company are listed in priority order as follows:

  1. Create branding and awareness for expert consulting services
  2. Generate qualified leads
  3. Position The Nutri Company as an industry leader in childhood nutrition services

The reason for only three “core” goals is to keep you focused and ensure attainability.  However, under each activity in your marketing plan, one can have “sub” goals as well (we’ll get into that in a minute).

Marketing Initiatives

Now that we have our three “core” goals identified for The Nutri Company, we’ll take a look at all the initiatives we want to participate in, as well as some other opportunities that may require further research.  Be sure to note each specific initiative with its program name, location, date, cost, etc., i.e.:

  • Participation in Nutrition Trade Show at Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY, June 1, 2016, $1,000 for tabletop display
  • Attend Nutrition Society Networking Event in White Plains, NY, February 15, 2016, $65 per attendee
  • Create and launch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, etc.

List as many as you’d like.  Now, cross-reference each initiative with your “core” three goals.  Does each initiative hit one or more goals?  If yes, add to your marketing plan and assign it in a priority order.  If no, postpone it, as it won’t help you reach your goals.

MARKETING PLAN EXCERPT

Program Initiative

Participation in Nutrition Trade Show at Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY, June 1, 2016, $1,000 for tabletop display.

Core Goal

(The above program initiative actually hits all three goals!):

  • Create branding and awareness for expert consulting services
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Position The Nutri Company as an industry leader in childhood nutrition services

Sub Goal

Capture seven qualified contacts/leads.

Plan-of-Action

Now, you develop a comprehensive plan-of-action to ensure you attain your set goals, as well as a follow-through strategy.

Overall, your business marketing plan should include:

  • Core and sub goals: again, what’s most important to sustaining and growing your business
  • Programs and promotions: identifying and creating initiatives aimed at achieving goals
  • Budgetary guidelines: identifying money dedicated to your marketing efforts
  • Deadline and launch dates: what are the due dates for each specific component
  • Ownership responsibilities: who’s responsible for what
  • Tracking: how success is determined

It’s important to note that your marketing plan is a “living” document – it’s not etched in stone and should be updated as your business and the economy change.  However, it does serve to keep you on track and focused, evaluate and allocate resources, to ensure you reach your business goals.

At Exceller Marketing, we have a proven process for creating and maintaining a solid business marketing plan for businesses in Westchester, NY.

  1. We begin by recording this “strategic” information in an Excel spreadsheet, highlighting priority order.
  2. Then, we create a separate “Executive Summary” and “Work Flow Check List” for each program initiative.  These tools serve as “tactical” plans-of-action noting who, what, when, where and why, as well as the appropriate marketing communications to support the program initiative.

As always, there’s no need to go it alone. Start the new year off on the right path and partner with Exceller Marketing and we’ll develop your business marketing plan. Then, you’ll take ownership to manage and maintain. Or, have us execute on the components. Either way, you’ll save time or money…the choice is yours.

Again, as an added bonus when you sign up for our E-newsletter, you’ll receive a FREE E-Book that provides you with a marketing plan template, and all the know-how needed to create a comprehensive, successful marketing plan for your business. If you’re already subscribed and never received the E-Book, just email us today and we’ll send it to you!

Feel free to contact us for more information, as well as a FREE consultation, on developing your business marketing plan.

Best regards, until next time!

Kathy Argyros
Founder and Chief Consultant
Exceller Marketing, Inc.
914-450-9149 
kathy@excellermarketing.com

excellermarketing.com

Exceller Marketing is a full-service marketing firm and website design agency servicing small and medium businesses, as well as entrepreneurs in Westchester County, NY and the tri-state area. With powerful traditional and digital marketing communications, coupled with business development, we keep our clients ahead of their competition.

Note:  The Nutri Company is a fictional company.

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