What Are The Benefits of a Marketing Plan for Your Business?

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Introduction

A marketing plan is a document outline that businesses use as a guide for all their marketing strategies. It includes all the details needed for achieving the marketing goals of the business such as marketing objectives, marketing strategies, target audience, market research, marketing budget, etc.

Most businesses today are still without a marketing plan. Some even don’t know that a marketing plan is required for their business.

đź’ˇ 50% of small and medium-sized businesses lack a marketing plan, according to [Search Engine Journal]

A marketing plan will help you reach your business goals and have a clear roadmap of how you plan to reach them. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the competition and be more profitable and efficient, a marketing plan might just be what you need.

What Is The Purpose Of A Marketing Plan?

Marketing plans serve an important purpose that makes the operations of certain activities of the business easier. How does the marketing plan manage to do that? A marketing plan has step-by-step details required to fulfill the marketing goals of the business.

For example, if an XYZ company wants to increase its sales by 50% within two months, a clear statement about the goal is written down in a document so that all the members of the team have a clear knowledge about it and have no confusion about it. The document would then have details about who the target audience for the specific product is, their demographics and psychographics, and the marketing strategies the business intends to use to increase the product sales.

The document also contains specific details on how each of the strategies is going to be executed and the various marketing channels the business intends to use to engage with its target audience. It also contains details about the amount of money that has been allocated for each of the marketing activities listed in the marketing plan. This way the marketing plan acts as a guide for all the members of the marketing team to refer to at any point in time.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Developing A Marketing Plan?

A marketing plan can serve a lot of benefits if it is developed effectively with clear details. The following are some of the benefits of developing a marketing plan:

Marketing Plan Serves As A Source Of New Opportunities

One of the key sections included in a marketing plan is the SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis is performed with the intent of finding the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats of the business. Businesses can use the analysis to find out the internal strengths of the business and how they can use them to take advantage of the opportunities in the industry.

Marketing Plans Help Identify Your Target Market

Every business has its own set of target audiences that is different from other similar businesses. The kind of marketing strategy and the content used in the marketing for one business may not work for another. It is crucial to find the right target audience to design the right kind of marketing strategy.

The marketing contains detailed research on the target market, the demographics of the audience such as gender, age, education, income level, etc, and their psychographics such as interests, hobbies, etc. Market research helps to create the user persona for the consumer. With this persona in mind, the marketing team is then able to design marketing strategies that are more likely to attract them.

McDonald’s is a fast-food company that focuses on food on the go for customers at a lower budget. McDonald’s has several different target audiences such as young children, parents who have young children, business customers, and teenagers. Defining the target audience of McDonald’s helps it create ads and products that are desirable to these audiences. Many Mcdonald’s ads depict a family having a meal or happy meals ads that showcase the different toys that kids get. This way McDonald’s projects a family and kids-friendly brand image to have a meal.

Marketing Plan Can Be Used To Identify Your Competitors

The competitor analysis section of the marketing plan focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors in the industry. It is a SWOT analysis that is done for the competitors in the industry. Analyzing the competitors helps businesses identify the different types of competitors in the industry, the kind of products or services they offer, the marketing strategy used, the content strategy of the competitors, etc.

The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo are rival soft drink producers that have mutually targeted each other through marketing campaigns such that it is named the Cola Wars. Coca-Cola was already selling millions per year when Pepsi began and yet Pepsi manages to be on par with Coca-Cola. Both the brands continue to be at war with each other since they have a similar user persona.

One example of how both the companies have a tight eye on each other is displayed through their 2019 Super Bowl marketing campaign. The Super Bowl was organized in Atlanta, the hometown of Coca-Cola. Pepsi wanted to highlight its product by having blue billboards across Atlanta with messages such as “Pepsi in Atlanta. How refreshing”, and “Look who’s in town for SuperBowl LIII.” Coke retaliated with ads showcasing the message, “A coke is a coke.”

Marketing Plans Support ROI On Marketing Spend

The marketing plan also serves as a financial document for marketing activities. It has a budget allocated for each of the marketing activities and strategies in the marketing plan. The right marketing strategy helps in gaining more sales with less expenditure and hence a better Return On Investment.

The marketing plan helps identify the strategies that are most effective in achieving the goals and hence invest in that marketing activity. A marketing plan also makes sure that all the marketing strategies are executed in an organized manner. This way any unforeseeable expenses may be reduced, saving the investment required for marketing.

For example, an online makeup store could focus marketing more through social media influencers who are make-up artists themselves with a good social following than randomly run paid ads targeting a wide range of audiences. This way the business can focus on getting more sales with reduced investment.

It Helps Set Out The Appropriate Strategy To Target Ideal Customers

The marketing plan can be an effective marketing tool when used in the right direction. The market research gives valuable insight into the target audience. The data from the research can be used to form a content strategy that focuses on one segment of the target audience who are also the end-users or consumers of the product or service provided by the business.

It Provides A Way To Measure The Progress Of All The Goals

The marketing plan also has Key Performance Indicators for each of the marketing strategies to be implemented. KPIs are metrics that can be used to measure the progress of a goal stated in the marketing plan.

For example, if you own a travel business and have a marketing campaign for the summer vacations, some of the KPI metrics to measure would be website visits, most viewed page, conversion rates, etc. All of these details in the marketing plan help to keep track of the progress of the goals and adjust the marketing strategies based on that.

It Helps To Align Businesses With Its Goals And Missions

A marketing plan allows the entire business team to function systematically. The marketing plan contains all the necessary details on what has to be done, how it has to be done, and when it can be done. This proactive planning method helps resolve any unexpected obstacles faster rather than being reactive.

Everybody on the team can also know all the details of the marketing function so that there is no confusion and all of them can work together in one direction of achieving the goals and missions of the business.

Conclusion

A marketing plan is not just a detailed document but rather a  visionary statement that helps the organization have a clear view of which direction they want to move ahead. It is beneficial in many ways like identifying the target audience, developing a marketing strategy to reach them, aligning the business with its goals, increasing ROI, etc.

The potential of a marketing plan is under-utilized by many small businesses since more than 50% of small businesses do not have a business. It’s time to change that now to change the future of businesses of all sizes.

To sum up, a marketing plan is a way to get organized, stay focused on the goals of the business, and track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. By creating a marketing plan and following it, you will be able to see the results of your efforts and adjust as needed. It also gives you a chance to reflect on your marketing efforts and see how well your marketing is working.

With Zocket, you can automate a large portion of your marketing efforts and launch Google ads, Facebook ads, and more within 30 seconds right from your mobile. Get started by downloading Zocket here.

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