The Marketing Plan is the set of Marketing actions, with the focus of promoting the company, a brand, products or services, aiming to achieve a certain goal. The Marketing Plan is extremely important for companies because it is through them that they get to know potential customers and maintain relationships with current customers. In addition, the plan allows anticipating, formalizing and articulating the main decisions of the company.
Therefore, the Marketing Plan is a management tool for the company to remain competitive in the market, through defined strategies. Let’s see then what steps are fundamental and that allow carrying out the projects of the company.
Steps to Create the Marketing Plan
This is basically the diagnosis of the current situation of the company, external (market and competition) and internal. In other words, it is the analysis of the surrounding environment. Understanding these factors, the company will be able to define the goals.
- Know well the market in which the company is inserted
- Know your competition and how it acts, to create actions that stand out from it
- Identify the material and intellectual resources you have available to put the marketing plan into practice. This includes the money that will be needed, the human resources, etc.
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is an internal and external analysis that analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the company. The strengths and weaknesses are inserted in the internal analysis, that is, to perceive the strengths and weaknesses of the company, only. Opportunities and threats belong to external analysis, for example, laws, strong competition, etc.
Target audience and/or persona
Describe the ideal customer profile for your business. This profile can be an audience or persona. Understand the difference:
It is the definition of the group of people who will use the product / service, social, economic and demographic. It includes:
- marital status
- shopping habits
- place of residence
Example of target audience: women between the ages of 30 and 40, higher education, salary between € 800 and € 1500, married, living in Lisbon, buying products for the home.
It is a fictional character, that is, an ideal client profile of a company. It is much more specific than the target audience and aims to better understand who the customer is and what their main needs are. In addition to the factors of the target audience, the definition of a persona also includes:
- Fictitious name
- Brief daily routine of the person
Example of persona: Tiago is a 31-year-old middle-class, English man living in London. He holds a degree in Management, works in a consulting company, but seeks professional relocation. He loves cooking and wants to dedicate himself more to this hobby. At the weekend, you usually have a coffee break with friends. You do not usually buy expensive products, but if you need to, do not mind spending a little more money if the product is more quality. He is extroverted and always surrounded by colleagues.
A Marketing Plan only exists if you have one goal, or several, in view. For example, make the brand better known, increase sales by 30%, increase the price of products by 10%, etc. It is important that the goals be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and date based.
Strategy to achieve the goals
For companies to sell more, they need new leads, which are contacts that can turn into customers. There are many ways to attract new leads:
- Participation in international events or fairs
- Agreements with partners that open doors to new customers. For example, you can advertise your partner’s products and vice versa
- Reward customers who bring in new leads
- Write and publish relevant articles to people on the placements they seek. Articles should be informative (hence relevant) rather than self-promotional.
- Participate in forums to gain prestige, subtly
- E-mail marketing
- Loyalty programs, to encourage customers to repeat purchases
- Use social networks, if relevant to your business
The Marketing Plan must be appropriate to the available budget. Therefore, knowing the budget available allows to better organize the investments in marketing. Do not make a plan too shy or too extravagant – find a balance.
Finally, the definition of a schedule is important to follow the implementation of the Marketing Plan defined. Basically, the timeline determines when a certain action will be taken. The schedule, in addition to including dates, also includes the necessary efforts to carry out each action.