Have you ever thought about where you want your business to be in 5 years? It’s fun to dream about the future – envisioning yourself as one of the top motivational speakers in the United States, having multiple offers to buy your business, or leading a team of 30 employees are all exciting possibilities. But in order to get there, you’re going to need a plan.
A marketing strategy is a well-thought-out plan that helps you reach these big goals. They are not the goals themselves. All too many times, small business owners claim their strategy as the goal. For example, “to be the best roofing company in the county” is not a strategy. (I would argue that it’s hardly even a goal because we all have a different interpretation of what “best” really means!)
A good strategy defines a critical challenge. What is more, it builds a bridge between that challenge and action. – Richard P. Rumelt
There are hundreds of motivational speakers out there. How are you going to reach that top tier? What can you do to make your business highly desirable? When will the time be right to hire your next employee, and which position makes the most sense?
When you create a strategy, you need to think of the baby steps you can take to reach your dream and consider any challenges you might encounter. Think about your goal and trace it back to the present day. What can you do today that will help you reach your goal five years from now?
Components of a Marketing Plan
Whether you’re creating your own marketing plan or you decide to hire us to create one for you, be sure to think about these items below.
- Vision/Mission: Where do you see your company in the future? What is the purpose of your business? (There’s a lot of information about this on the web, so I won’t go into detail here.)
- Ideal Customer: Research your market and create detailed profiles of your customers. Be sure to include demographics (location/gender/age/income, etc.) as well as any buying triggers or personality traits.
- Competitive Analysis: Identify your top competitors, then look at their online presence to find out their positioning. Why would a customer choose them over you? What are they good (or bad) at doing?
- SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) Analysis: This is essentially market research in an organized format that really helps you focus on the most important information. You can choose to be brief or extremely detailed. Here’s a great video on how to do one.
- Marketing Strategy: Take all the information from the SWOT analysis and apply it to your marketing. How will you overcome the challenges identified in the SWOT?
- Define Success for the Year: Break down your five-year goal into doable annual chunks. What will success look like at the end of this year?
- Tactics: These are the methods you’ll use to get there. Identify the right social media channels for your business and don’t fall for the articles that say every business should be blogging, on Instagram, or attending a certain conference. Choose your tactics wisely and stick with them for a few months before giving up.
- Metrics: How will you measure success? Identifying key metrics is how you’re going to determine if the tactics you selected are working or if you need to change gears.
It takes time to come up with a good strategy but it will help you achieve the results that you desire. Ultimately you will end up saving time because you won’t be focusing on channels that aren’t right for your business.
A marketing strategy is the best way to ensure your business is ready for the future. What does the future of your business look like? We’d love to help you get there!