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What Is A Marketing Plan And Do You Need One?

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If you have been using these crazy times to re-evaluate your goals, and use isolation to grow online, remember this quote from Seth Godin, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you that you make, but the stories that you tell.”

Imagine then if you take that concept and infuse it in to your marketing plan to help you tell that story, build relationships and grow your business?

I know for many the idea of marketing in general can be extremely intimidating. 

It’s like a big hairy beast with too many arms and a hungry look in its eye thinking, “I’m gonna eat ya and spit out the remains.” 

But really it’s no where near that bad when at it’s most basic, marketing is just an act to get people’s attention on your business (another piece of sage advice from Mr Godin). 

So first things first…. What is a marketing plan? 

In the most simple terms your small business marketing plan is a step by step formula you create that outlines how you want to get noticed, build an audience of raving fans (with said stories) and make sales. 

When you have a new product or service to promote, sitting down to establish a short and long term marketing plan gives you the confidence to know what you need to do when and how. 

Don’t trap yourself in to thinking it needs to be a 30 page comprehensive document. It doesn’t! 

Marketing is just about getting attention and knowing how you’re going to use it to increase your sales.

What Should Be Included In A Marketing Plan? 

This is where your business goals are super important!

Without a goal what are you marketing for? You need to know where you want to go so you can figure out how to get there. 

Once you’re clear on your end goal, your marketing plan should include three essential elements: 

  1. How are you going to be discovered (e.g. social media)
  2. How are your potential clients going to get to like and trust you (e.g. opt-in)
  3. How can they buy from you (e.g. sale or booking a client)

Yes! Selling is a crucial step in your marketing plan. If they don’t know how to buy from you, then you don’t have a business. 

Plus you need to measure the effectiveness of your plan so you can test and tweak it until it’s a well oiled machine. 

What’s the difference between a Marketing Plan and a Social Media Plan? 

Sooo much. 

Think of it this way; your marketing plan is like walking in to Bunnings. 

You go there with a purpose. Let’s say you want to refurb your child’s bedroom. You have a specific goal in mind. You walk in to an aisle which is full of all different cans of paint and you select a can of light grey paint out of 50 shades of grey (see what I did there) knowing it is the right colour for you little one. You but it and take it home to start your renovation. 

Bunnings is your marketing plan. The aisle is your social media plan and the individual cans of paint are your daily posts. Your child is your ideal customer that you keep in mind at all stages…. 

In other words, your social media activity is one part of your overarching marketing plan. It supports your end goal but shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on. 

Do I really need a Marketing Plan?

At the end of the day, I always recommend it’s better to sit down for an hour and work out how you’re going to move your business forward with a step by step strategy, then wasting a heap of time posting, promoting and pushing your business and hoping for the best. 

But it’s completely up to you and your vision for your business and your future. 

The best thing about a plan – it’s not set in stone. 

If something isn’t working then change it up. Try another angle or approach to see what works for you and your potential clients. 

Your marketing plan. Your business. Your success. 

Leave me a comment and tell me what do you like or dislike about marketing plans?

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