Back to: Business Planning 2 Marketing Basics: Video Course
Please note: the sound on this recording is a little low, you may wish to listen through headphones.
Finally, it’s time to think of your Marketing Plan for Year 1 of your business.
Once you know your channels and have an idea about how you will work with them, you can then decide which should be prioritized based on certain factors – your objectives, your budget (if you already know it), the time to launch, your confidence levels, the season – and build a plan accordingly.
There a few different aspects to the plan:
- Set objectives based on the goals you’ve already set for your business.
- Plan day to day activities ie those marketing activities that you’ll be working on each day to keep your business top of mind to your audience.
- Plan campaign activities ie those marketing activities that we be planned around a specific thing such as a seasonal sale or a half-price promotion.
- Put a cost against each activity.
Let’s look at each of these separately.
To set marketing objectives, first review what overarching goals you have for your business – you may have set some as part of our first Business Planning workshop – From Idea to Action.
Those goals are about what we want our business to achieve in Years 1 – 3. They could be based on increased number of customers, sales, product range, service area – in fact anything that makes sense for our particular business.
Our marketing objectives should be tied directly to those goals. For example, if we want to increase our geographical spread, we may want to create a campaign based on that new area. If we want to introduce a new product, we may want a promotional discount campaign to raise awareness of it. If we want to focus on getting online sales, we may want to promote our website to get people there.
If you don’t already have some business goals, create some and then see how your marketing objectives can contribute to achieving them.
Example: Business goal: I want to increase online sales on existing services by 10% by the end of the 2020.
Marketing objectives related to that goal:
- In 2019 I will post 3 x weekly on Instagram and Facebook to highlight the benefits of my existing services, the story behind them, and to offer 1 free sample service per week that people can use for themselves of nominate others to use.
- In June 2020 I’ll offer a 20% discount on a package of summer time services booked in May. I’ll build a webpage specifically for the promotion, create social media posts to highlight it, and create some discount coupons to leave in shops in the area.
Do this for each of your business goals that will be relying on marketing activities to be achieved.
As you set your objectives and subsequently create your plan, keep your integrated approach to your marketing strategy in mind to create Integrated Marketing Campaigns or IMCs. Effectively this means utilizing our overarching marketing strategy in our daily and campaign activities.
Now it’s time to put some activities and dates to our plan.
Day to Day Activities
Marketing plans are a combination of regular day to day activities and campaign specific.
Let’s start with the day-to-day activities.
Examples could be:
- Regular social media posts – break these down into groupings. 80-90% of posts should not be directly about selling. Some examples are: story posts – about you, your life, your day-to-day, your client’s experiences, recommendations etc, informational posts about your industry (proving your expertise), talking about other businesses in the industry that may suit your clients better (usefulness). Remember to link back to your website or shop site if that’s part of your integrated plan.
- Sending out emails to your list – monthly newsletter or other informational emails.
- Attending a monthly Chamber breakfast.
- Visiting 10 local businesses a month.
- Giving out 100 leaflets per month, etc.
- Creating a weekly informational video.
Remember to add a resource name if it’s not going to be you – and allocating a cost to each activity. This will be useful for both the Ops and Financial section of your plan later.
If you are undertaking the work yourself – you may also want to allocate a time (so you don’t overschedule yourself).
This is the summary version we use for inclusion in our business plan because it goes into as much detail as we need for that document. You can create these tables in a separate document with a lot more detail if you wish for your own use.
Remember, depending on your business model, you’ll most likely only be running 1 or 2 campaigns in Year 1, so don’t over extend yourself.
Campaigns can be structured around whatever you’d like but some common ones are:
- Seasonal – the Great Summer Sale!
- Celebrations – the Mother’s Day Sale!
- Charity – x amount of sales will go to our favorite charity!
- Your business birthday – we’re 5 tomorrow!
- Openings, closings, moving.
- Just because we love you, sales!
Effectively, you can create a campaign around anything. Just be sure that it’s a reason that your audience can understand and will appeal to them. That way, your campaign will create excitement and buy in.
Our final activity in this Marketing Basics for Business Planning course, is to set a Marketing Budget. We’ll do that in the next video.