Regardless of which mass media routes you're using to market your business, it is vital that you take the time to have a comprehensive plan in place. Without a thoughtful plan, you risk wasting valuable time and money on unfruitful marketing efforts.
Creating a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
This plan should outline a number of different areas, including:
Your company's goals: It helps to have every department involved in making S.M.A.R.T. goals
Overall strategy that aligns with your company goals
Discovering the target of a campaign seems like it would be easiest component, but you would surprised how many businesses have difficulty defining this group. Too often businesses feel that their target is too broad, and thus miss out on actually targeting anyone in particular. Refine the group you are targeting just enough so that your content is focused and has the best opportunity to appeal to them. This is where buyer personas come in really handy to create targeted content.
What Marketing Channels Will You Utilize?
Defining the channels you want to utilize for your marketing campaign is vital, and has a lot to do with the audience you previously defined. Are TV commercials the best outlet to reach your target demographic? What about social media? Or email marketing? Odds are, there is no one channel that is perfect for your campaigns, so you need to determine what you hope to get out of each channel and find the balance of your chosen marketing channels.
Market Research and Competitive Analysis
This is the area where you will define what your competitors are doing and can identify ways that you will differentiate yourself from them (or steal some ideas! Don't recreate the wheel if you don't have to). If you have a direct competitor that is running a very specific campaign, you will want to make sure that you are not just mirroring exactly what they're doing. You've got to distinguish what makes you different and how you can better solve their pain points than the competition.
Always Be Evolving
This concept of "always be evolving" is one we can't stress enough! Marketing cannot be approached with the “set it and forget it” mentality. With proper planning and an evolving strategy, you will be best equipped to identify ways to further enhance your campaigns as time goes on.