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A Marketing Plan: Part 3 - Goals and Strategies

Hello! Welcome back to our Marketing Plan series. How are you feeling about your budding masterpiece? Has this been more/less work than you thought?

In the event that you’re just tuning in, make sure you go back and read Parts 1 and 2 in this series so we’re all on the same page. Okay, ready to dive back in? Here we go!

Now that you have your SWOT in place, you should have a solid understanding of the state of your company. (If you haven’t had your manager fill one out, we HIGHLY recommend it!) Combine that with a clear picture of your target audience, and you are well on your way to a solid marketing plan.

But...what’s next? What are you hoping to achieve from your marketing efforts this year?

It’s Good to Have Goals
Creating a marketing plan is all fine and dandy, but if you don’t have specific goals to achieve, how will you measure its effectiveness? Are you hoping for a 20% increase in sales this quarter? What about increasing your customer base by 10% this year? (Hint: Now might be a good time to pull out the Opportunities portion of the SWOT Analysis for ideas.)

Whatever you do, don’t just slap down the first goals that pop into your head. Put some thought into it. In fact, we recommend making your goals SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This will help you drive toward your goals.

What’s Your Strategy?
If your goal is to grow revenue, what marketing actions will accomplish this? You’ve already identified who you’re targeting. But how will you best reach them? (Isn’t that the million dollar question?)

This is the heart and soul of your marketing plan. Here is where you detail strategies that you are going to use to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you do this:
-A good marketing plan targets customers at every stage of the buying cycle—cold, warm, hot.
-Advertising, public relations, and direct marketing are often good strategics for cold prospects.
-Warm prospects (i.e. those that have been exposed to your company before) may be more apt to engage with a personal email, loyalty program, or customer appreciation event.
-Hot prospects are on the verge of closing a sale, so they generally respond well to interpersonal sales contact, whether that be on the phone, email, or in person.

Have you considered all areas of marketing for this portion—billboards, print advertising, SEO, social media advertising, commercials, etc? If you’re not sure where to turn, return to your Target Audience section and try to get in their heads. Where might they shop? How might you best reach them? Be creative!

How’s your marketing plan coming? Feeling good about it? We hope so! Stay tuned as we wrap up our series next time.

In the meantime, do you have questions? Let us know. We love talking this stuff through with people!