Every business is a goal-oriented endeavor. The goal of the business is to succeed in the marketplace, and each business needs a plan on how it’s going to get there.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a massive Fortune 500 enterprise or a small startup out of your garage, a business plan is an essential aspect of any business that plans on being successful.
So what about a marketing plan? Depending on who you ask, marketing plans are just as important as business plans, because you can’t execute any of the aspects of your business plan without marketing.
Nonetheless, 50% of businesses DO NOT have any form of a marketing plan. That’s right, 1 out of every 2 businesses are completely winging it when it comes to figuring out ways to generate sales. The truth is, though no business wants to admit it, marketing is confusing, difficult, and an arduous process.
In this article, we’ll explain what a marketing plan is, why you need one, and how you can find someone who will help you generate a successful marketing plan.
What Is a Marketing Plan?
If you’ve never written, read, or even thought about marketing plans before this can seem like a daunting question.
Essentially, a marketing plan is a document that outlines the strategy that a business will use to generate leads, sell products, and raise brand awareness.
This last point is key because not every single marketing effort is done directly to sell products. Even if selling widgets is how you make your living, in the digital age there’s so much more to branding than just your physical product.
Social media marketing, display ads, and many other types of marketing are crucial and they don’t necessarily always lead to products sold — at least… they don’t directly lead to products sold.
Let’s talk more about modern marketing tactics.
How to Turn Followers Into Sales
The backbone of a strong marketing plan is a diverse range of tactics, clear goals, and consistent, adequate execution. Just having a marketing plan doesn’t really give you anything, except the ability to say “I have a marketing plan!” at business meetings, dinner parties, and conference calls.
Marketing plans are tools, and like any tool, it only gets value when you use it.
In business, the marketing plan is the tool that’s used to help businesses generate “followers” — I use this term in quotes because followers are much more than just the people clicking the follow button on your Instagram or Facebook pages. “Followers” in this context are the fans of your business — the people who are interested in what your company produces, sells, and the happenings inside of the company.
The purpose of the marketing plan is to find these followers, then to figure out how to turn your followers into your customers, and finally to figure out how to keep them as customers over periods of time. 1000 “fans for life” is more profitable than 100,000 one-time buyers. That’s just basic mathematics.
Okay, now that we’ve gone over what a marketing plan is, let’s talk about what makes a good marketing plan.
Good Marketing Plans are Systems
What if you go viral on social media? What if your email list suddenly hits several thousand subscribers? What if your product is featured on Shark Tank or the NBC nightly news, and your business’s “hype-train” starts barreling down the hit at a thousand miles per hour?
That’s why the best marketing plans are just plans, they’re active systems designed to help you grow in whatever you face as a brand. The best marketing plans are able to be adjusted over time, and these adjustments shouldn’t destroy the integrity of the original plan.
Marketing plans need specific, actionable goals, and then they need to be reverse engineered to determine a step-by-step process that will help the brand reach its goals.
They also need to be time-sensitive.
Unfortunately, you can’t build a brand with no time commitment to your goals. Having vague goals is really the same as having no goals. Having a bad system is the same as having no system. When we run into problems in marketing, it’s our systems that stop everything from falling into chaos.
“You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.” — James Clear
How to Connect with Good Marketing People
In 2021, it seems like everyone is a “marketing guru” or expert, and they all want to use your company as a guinea pig to see if their bold claims about their abilities are true.
But as a business owner, whether you’re an already established industry leader or an emerging startup, you don’t have the time to play around with marketing plans from people who are unestablished in the field. Outsourcing for marketing is an important relationship (probably one of the most important you’ll have as a business), and you don’t want to waste your time, money, and energy on a brand that doesn’t have the ability to help you reach your goals.
It’s important to pay attention to the qualifications of the people who you work with in terms of marketing. Did they study marketing? If not, do they have extensive experience working on building brands? Do they have a portfolio full of case studies ready to show you that demonstrate their success? Are they consistent communicators?
When looking for a marketing company, these are all questions you HAVE to ask yourself. The future of your brand depends on it.
When it comes to a marketing plan, you only want the best. Because of this notion, however, many businesses seem to just forget about marketing plans altogether. As stated at the top of the article: 50% of businesses do not have a marketing plan.
Which 50% do you want to find yourself in?
It’s pretty obvious which businesses have a better chance of survival (hint: it’s the businesses who have marketing plans), but it’s less obvious what a marketing plan looks like and who can provide you with a good one.
That’s where we come in. At Zynk30, we can help you build a marketing plan, write a content portfolio, and develop more brand awareness than you might even think is possible. This is done through hard work, consistency, and by working with the top minds in marketing today.
The future is bright, for both you and your “followers”.