4 tips for developing a marketing plan that will actually grow your business
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Your business’s marketing strategy has the potential to boost sales and propel you into the limelight. However, if your strategy is not properly planned, you can inadvertently lock in your income and limit your own success. We must be intentional in order to create a effective marketing plan that will grow our business, especially in the startup world. Plus, it’s all too easy to get distracted by the gloss new trends in marketing that promise to bring more reach than ever before. But these trends often don’t support the whole business. The best marketing plan is created when we take a holistic approach that invests in every element of our business.
As I’ve built my business over the past few years, I’ve learned many marketing lessons the hard way. While there’s no replacement for your own experience, if you want to develop a marketing plan that really works, keep reading.
Related: How to Create a Marketing Plan
The importance of taking a holistic view of your business and your marketing cannot be overstated. Your marketing strategy should consider everything from the product itself to the ease of access to your website. From the cohesion of your social media to the fluidity of the execution of your orders. If even one element of your business is out of sync, all the money you spend on marketing won’t be as effective as it can be. Every step of the customer journey, from first meeting your brand to receiving their first product, is critical to your success. If we only invest in some things and not others, we risk missing out on potential customers and revenue streams.
For example, when we first started marketing our product, we almost exclusively ran online advertisements, ignoring all other types of communication. But once we started adding SMS marketing, we saw an immediate increase in revenue. From there, we were able to continue to grow and create a steady stream of income.
It is also, of course, crucial to create a strong social media presence with content that reflects the nature of your business and attracts audiences. Use ambassadors and influencers on all social media platforms to provide social proof of your product’s effectiveness. And, allocate resources to those with the highest return. Finally, if customers knock on your door, you need to be ready to respond. Make sure you have the infrastructure in place to handle customers who might want to contact you. Create an email and SMS system that can support your advertising strategy and make customers feel supported.
Don’t stick to just one aspect of marketing. Invest in and include every element of your business in your marketing strategy. As a result, you’ll see how, in turn, each element of your business can work in tandem to help you grow.
Related: Why Email Marketing Is Better For Your Business Than Social Media
How to Create a Holistic Marketing Approach
Now that you know the must-haves, it’s time to take action. By refining my marketing approach over the years, I have discovered that there are four crucial steps in creating a holistic marketing strategy:
- Make a plan: We can’t act until we know where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. It’s not enough to throw everything and anything against the wall and see what sticks. Sit down with your team and chart a course that doesn’t rely on happy accidents.
- Reach out to people who have been successful at what you’re trying to do: Every business is unique, but it wouldn’t help to seek advice from someone with entirely different goals than yours. Find those who have businesses you admire and would like to emulate. Talk to business owners who have already solved many problems in their strategies. You can learn, grow, and hopefully avoid some of their costly mistakes.
- Don’t set it and forget it: Make sure your marketing dollars are well spent by checking return on investment. If something is working extremely well, it might be time to invest more in that direction. Conversely, if a particular approach seems to be falling flat, you’ll know it’s time to focus your time and effort elsewhere.
- Continually evaluate your plan for gaps or areas for improvement: the one constant we have in business is that it will always be cash. We must remain nimble and be ready and willing to update our plans as needed.
Related: The Right Mix of Premium Content and Quality Marketing Defines New-Age Brands
Know your brand
If you follow all of the above steps but your product and marketing strategies don’t align, your consumers will feel more confused than interested. Your customer should have a positive and consistent experience every time they encounter your marketing or product. To reach your target audience, your marketing must be consistent with your values, your culture and the product you have to offer.
Understanding your brand will not only help your consumers find you, but it will also help you find them. What kind of person is looking for your product? How and where do they spend their time? What do they need help with? Knowing who you’re trying to target (and why) will help you focus your marketing strategy, increase its emotional power, and reach the people who really need what you have to offer.
A solid marketing plan has the potential to increase revenue and reach more customers than previously thought. However, we have to be careful not to get so caught up in formalizing the perfect marketing plan that we don’t do much at all. We cannot grow without action, and sometimes that action will bring a few bumps in the road. Take the time to create an intentional and holistic marketing plan. But stay agile enough to adapt to your evolution, that of your company and the world around you.