We all talk about marketing plans, but creating one and sticking to it is the only way you will see the desired results. While you might think that success is only obtainable for big brands, with advances in technology and the popularity of social media, you will be amazed at what you can achieve and how many potential customers you can reach. Yes, it might take time and effort, but the rewards can be remarkable and while you might not be an overnight success, rewards are there for the taking. To help get you started, we have looked at how you can create a marketing plan that could help turn 2018 into your best year yet.
What is your USP?
Before you do anything, you need to look at what makes you stand out from the crowd because this will be at the heart of your messages and communications. Maybe you are flexible, competitive, offer next day delivery or have something no one else offers – whatever your unique selling point is, find it and use it. We consider our USP to be Our PAs are the Difference – we pride ourselves in our recruitment process and that we only employ the right calibre of PAs to answer telephone calls on behalf of our clients. We really do believe in our USP – you can meet some of our PAs here.
Who are you talking to?
It is one thing running Twitter and Facebook accounts and attending networking events and conferences, but if you don’t really know who your audience are, it can all be a waste of time. Yes, it might be that your product ‘could’ be used by everyone, but if you really drill down into it, you can work out who you really want to target and this will make things so much more effective. Maybe do some market research, carry out a survey (we use Survey Monkey), ask for feedback or create a poll on social media and the feedback can help you decide who you want to talk to, what age they are, where they live, what media they use and ultimately how you can reach them.
What do you want to achieve?
As the saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ so unless you have a mega budget, you need to be pretty specific in your goals. Maybe you want to increase sales by 10% month on month, you would like 5,000 followers on Facebook by April or hope to open a second branch by the end of 2018. Whatever you want your business to achieve, you need to align your marketing activities to help do this. Once you have those goals in place you can then work out how best to achieve them with your target audience always front of mind.
What do you want to do and when?
Social media, conferences, round table talks, press releases, media relations, events, newsletters and mail-outs are all options when it comes to marketing and PR. If you are opening a new salon for example, you can use social media updates to let people know what is happening and when, a press release can be written for your local newspaper and you can hold an event for clients and contacts. All of this will come together to create a complete campaign and help spread the word as well as hopefully driving footfall to the new premise.
How much money do you have?
Even if you are going to do your marketing and PR yourself, it isn’t free because it will take up your time and resources. Look at your overall business budget for 2018 and from this decide what you have to spend on communicating your message. Even if you have a small budget, if you use it well and are creative and targeted, you can achieve your goals. See links below for recommended organisations that can help you with PR and Marketing.
Ready, steady, go
Once you have your plan and timeline in place, you need to make a start. Set aside time each week when you can put your calls on divert and put your plans into action. Be aware of what is working and what might need tweaking and if you do need an extra pair of hands maybe a team member can help or you can look at outsourcing specific projects. If things are working, great and keep up the good work but if you find those blog posts aren’t pulling in traffic or you aren’t driving sales via Facebook ads and networking, maybe have a rethink.
Our Marketing Manager’s favourite marketing influencers
Watertight Marketing – everything you need to know re marketing tips and tricks.
Janet Murray – get your PR sorted in 2018 with Janet’s jovial recommendations.
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