What exactly is a Marketing Plan and why should you implement one into your overall business strategy?

Simply put, a Marketing Plan should be viewed as a blueprint that outlines the methods you will implement to gain customers, and it lays out exactly how you will achieve your business goals. Think of it as a roadmap, of sorts, that leads you through your marketing strategy, or your overall “big picture” for your business.

Here are the top four reasons you should implement a Marketing Plan into your overall marketing strategy:

1. It will help you identify your target market. 

One of the most important aspects of starting a new business (or expanding an established one) is understanding who your ideal customers are, what their needs are, and how to meet those needs or address their problems in ways that create value.

When we help our clients create a Marketing Plan, one of the first steps we take is to help them identify their target market. This allows the client to focus their marketing efforts in the most cost-effective ways possible, ensuring their messaging appeals directly to their target audience.

2. It will help you identify your competitors. 

As important as it is to know who your target market is, it’s equally as important that you are able to identify your competitors. While a little healthy competition is good for everyone, you’ll want to know as much about your competitors as possible in order to gain the edge.

By analyzing the competition through market research, we can help our clients determine how to improve their offerings or adjust to the needs of their customers so they line up more favorably against the competition.

3. It provides helpful analytics to gauge your ROI. 

Analytics might not be the most ‘fun’ part of running a business, but any successful business person will tell you that having measurable marketing goals is imperative.

An effective marketing plan will outline specific and measurable marketing goals and timeframes in which they are to be accomplished. At Vendito, we make sure our clients are only investing in promotional activities that drive a positive ROI. We do this by matching your target market’s purchasing behaviors with promotional services that will have the greatest impact on your bottom line. It’s all about the numbers!

4. It creates a strategy for targeting your ideal customers. 

In marketing, we often refer to strategy components as the four “Ps:”

Product – The product or service your business offers

Price — The price you plan to use, as well as wholesale and seasonal pricing

Place — The place or distribution of the product for delivery, including transportation and warehousing

Promotion — The way in which you market your product, using tactics such as advertising, public relations, and promotions

Our goal is to create marketing plans that map out a strategy to reach your target audience. Without a strategy, you are likely to invest in marketing activities that might not support your overall goals.

Keep in mind, the purpose of a Marketing Plan is to help you outline a strategy for promoting your brand and growing your sales or revenue for your business. At some point, every business needs to grow. Having a Marketing Plan will provide insights into your market and your ideal customers, and it will help you understand how to engage them in meaningful ways.