Your marketing plan focuses resources on finding new customers and building loyalty (repeats and referrals). It’s strategic, fact based, and clearly identifies objectives. Your comprehensive strategy roadmap will contain the tools and tactics needed to reach your intended marketing potential. In this exercise with your team, you are going to review your current marketing strategy, company growth goals, areas of success, and areas for improvement.
Here are 5 steps to take:
1. Competitive Landscape
Your company’s “Who, What, Where, When, & Why”. The first section of your roadmap will be used to see the full body make up of your company. This is essential to begin the roadmap because you need to be able to thoroughly see the ins & outs of the company. For a bonus, try listing some of your company’s strengths and weaknesses for even more detail.
In this exercise you should ask questions like: “How big is our company? What is our product/service? Who is our competition and what makes them unique in this market?” You want to make sure you cover every crevice and not miss any information. This process of creating a roadmap needs to be as detailed as possible so you don’t want to start off at a disadvantage by leaving something out at the beginning.
2. Target Market
Are you more interested in the Reagan the boutique owner or Drew the construction contractor? Who is your ideal customer and why do you want them? In this section of your roadmap you should create a visual of your customer profile that will include their demographics, socioeconomic, and lifestyle characteristics. This exercise will also give you insight of what demographics to use for your Google Adwords campaigns.
Go and look at your current customer list and create personas for your top 20 customers and understand why you want to reach out to them. Lets take Drew and Reagan for example. Drew wakes up, checks stocks on his phone on the way to work, then spends his day onsite at several projects, during the day he might do searches for subcontractors or rental equipment so it might be wiser to create campaigns to reach him through mobile Search Network campaigns. Reagan stops by the neighborhood coffee shop on the way to work, then works on her blogs for her boutique’s site, after leaving for the day she catches up on Facebook, so tailoring your campaigns on social media sites will do perform better with her.
3. S.M.A.R.T. Goals
This is where you want to create simple, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.) goals for your company. These goals need to have tangible ways to achieve them, a set time limit, and a way to measure their progress throughout time. How many more orders do you want to have on a monthly basis? How many campaigns do you want to run in a year? In this exercise its important lay out specific marketing based goals you have for your company this year.
The difference between “I want to make more money this year” and “I want to gain 20 new customers in 4 months”. One goal is simple, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound while the other one is intangible and very vague. You want to stray away from picking vague goals because they just become all talk and include no follow up after they are announced, make sure to pick goals that are realistic and attainable through your company’s resources.
At this stage, you have figured out why you want to begin your campaign and where you want to start & finish it. But how are you going to get there? This exercise will show you how to get the wheels turning on your roadmap. You should explore tactics for each part of our buyer’s journey through the sales cycle from basic brand awareness to nurturing and conversion.
In this portion of the roadmap, you want to figure out tactics such as what social media platforms you want to run your campaigns on, and how you will run them. Is a new lead worth $100 or $1,000 to your company? You should write down where you’re going to focus your ads to show, the different updates you’re going to make to your company’s website, etc. Start making your own bulleted lists for each task, and also make a timeline for when you want to work on each different project.
Lastly, now that you have created a marketing plan, how much time and money is it going to cost? Are you going to need to hire an outside agency for their resources? This is the final step you need before your roadmap can be implemented and carried out. Your budget will also help put everything discussed to scale.
Now you should put a monetary value on the resources needed for accomplishing your goals. If you are a small business owner, you might want to look at hiring outside help such as an intern or a marketing agency to help achieve your goals. If you want to re-brand your company, how much will a new website cost? These are the kind of questions you should be asking yourself because your budget may determine which projects are moved forward, and which ones are pushed back for a later start date.
This exercise only takes a few hours to complete but it will prove very beneficial to the success of your business in the new year. Your new detailed roadmap will help you strategically plan out your marketing tactics for your set goals. On the other hand, this roadmap can help prevent your business from becoming stagnant in the competitive market. Now you have a clear plan to see what your company’s areas of success are, and which areas need to be worked on for improvement.