Your company most likely has a strategic plan.
It outlines your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threads, your direction, your current state, and short and long term goals. It’s absolutely pertinent to the success of your business. It’s the road map you need so you know where you want to go. The same concept applies to marketing.
The first and most important step is to consider marketing as a priority to your business. Be sure to dedicate time to writing a strategic marketing plan, not just once, but every quarter. Update it once a year, and track your success monthly. Marketing together with sales and business development may be the best way to spend resources for the growth and consequent success of your business.
Writing your strategic marketing plan is often not about what you know, but what you don’t know. When we partner with a new client at JumpStartNOW, the first course of action is to start developing their strategic marketing plan. That is what it means to us to be strategic. We ask a series of questions that the client may or may not know how to answer. We encourage them to consider the question even if they don’t have the answers right now. What often happens is that our strategic partnership spurs internal discussion among our client’s executive team about their business direction.
Here are the areas we focus on. Don’t be surprised if it takes time and brainstorming to complete this plan. If there are areas that you can’t outline right now, think about them. Clarity is the first step.
Marketing objectives and goals.
We start with the overall objective of the marketing and then move right into outlining SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time. Without goals we have no point of reference and don’t know what we are working toward. We work more intentionally and purposefully when goals are outlined in detail. It is exhilarating when we look back and check off every single goal that has been achieved. It’s high fives all around.
You most likely prepared a SWOT analysis for your strategic plan. It stands for strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat. The SWOT analysis we develop is with an eye on marketing, and is absolutely necessary for the marketing team to understand the internal and external landscape.We need to understand the competitive landscape and any industry gaps, opportunities, or limitations. We are determined to turn any weaknesses that are related to marketing into strengths. We make that our mission.
We develop a buyer persona that is highly detailed and void of generality. It’s about the who, what, and why. Most important is the buyer’s problem, for which we have the solution and the motivation to purchase. Any objections to purchasing need to be outlined here. We learn more about the buyer as we roll out marketing campaigns and discover new insights. Any changes to business directions will affect this persona. Brutal honesty is required.
Brand voice and brand guide are not just nice to have. They offer consistency, which is so important in marketing. We think the word brand might be overused, but a consistent presentation and approach will make businesses recognizable. Then they will actually start becoming brands. Who we are as a brand determines what we believe in and what we reject; how we speak about our business and to our audience. The brand package including logo, colors, and fonts are at the center of presentation. Colors have meaning and fonts speak volumes.
Marketing initiatives and campaigns.
Marketing initiatives and the consequent campaigns are focused on the marketing success. They outline what we will do to achieve our marketing goals. While initiatives are broader activities like content marketing, campaigns are highly detailed, timely, and determine how we measure success. When outlining the campaigns, you can easily create a marketing calendar to move forward with. It will give you an actionable plan on how to execute your marketing to head in the right direction.
Marketing loves analytics and analytics help measure success. Your marketing goals, initiatives, and campaign determine your KPIs. KPIs are very specific to your strategic plan. Without measuring, again and again, we do not know our progress. Depending on the lack of or evidence of progress, we must adjust the campaigns. It is all about what is working and what is not. It’s all about the numbers in the end.
We always say that in the end, it’s about the strategy. And we mean it. If you want to work with us on your strategic marketing plan, you can find us through our website at jumpstart-now.com or message Veronika Monell on LinkedIn.