The Great Marketing Checklist
Everything you need for a successful marketing campaign
A marketing plan isn’t something you should just throw together. The marketing plan is essential for laying out the specifics of a campaign. Choosing a strategy, figuring out who you’re marketing to, and laying out the intricate details are all part of a marketing plan. To help you stay on the right track, here’s a checklist for the important information you need to implement a successful marketing plan to improve your digital presence (in no particular order).
Figure out where you’re at so you can plan on getting to where you want. Reflect on your brand. What works and what doesn’t? What do you want to change? What value do your services or products provide? Figure out your SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Use this analysis to enhance your marketing plan.
Describe your product. How does your product relate to the market? What does your market need? what do they currently use? What do they need above and beyond current use? You should know why your audience should prefer your product or services.
Your mission statement should include a few things, like your key market (who you’re selling to), contribution (what you’re selling), and distinction (your unique selling proposition). Your mission statement should reflect your brand.
Find the niche or target markets for your products or services and describe them. This is important. You have to know who would take you up on your offer so that you can impress them.
Describe your competition. What makes you stand apart from your competition? What is your competition doing about branding? What do you admire about their approach, and what do you dislike?
Collect and organize data about your market. Some things to consider:
- Market dynamics and patterns, including seasonality
- Customer demographics, market segments, target markets, needs, and buying decisions
- Products – what’s out there now, what the competition’s offering
- Current sales in the industry
- Benchmarks in the industry
- Vendors you’ll rely on
Unique selling proposition
Your unique selling proposition (USP) should capture the essence of your brand. It should focus on your target market, what you have to offer them, and why your brand is the best option for them. Your USP needs to be original, memorable and focused on what your customers value. Don’t take a generic stance on selling your products/ services, be specific.
Determine how best to promote your brand to your target audience. What tools would be most efficient to use? Is direct mail or email marketing more appropriate? Would social media advertisements catch your audience’s attention better than TV ads? Or, maybe your brand will benefit from launching a creative marketing campaign. The choices are endless and all dependent upon your business’s marketing goals. Your activity plan should align with your goals in a way that makes sense.
Write down the marketing and promotion strategies you want to use or have considered. Some strategies to consider are:
- Networking – go where your market is.
- Direct marketing – sales letters, brochures, and flyers
- Advertising – print media and directories
- Training programs – to increase awareness
- Write articles, give advice, and become known as an expert.
- Direct/personal selling
- Publicity/press releases
- Trade shows
- Business website
Pricing, Positioning, and Branding
Use market research to establish strategies for determining the price of your product, where your product will be positioned in the market, and how you will achieve brand awareness.
Budget your dollars. What strategies can you afford? What can you do in-house? What do you need to outsource? Research this as well to get the most bang for your buck. Throwing money at something is not always the best way to improve it, so be sure about what you want to spend your dollars on.
Research Marketing Tactics
There are more marketing tactics available today than ever before. Trying to determine which one is best for your business can be overwhelming. Take the time to research all marketing vehicles, which range from traditional (billboard, television, radio, newspaper, and magazine) to digital (pay-per-click ads with Google, social media efforts with Facebook and Twitter, etc.). A full understanding of these tactics will make you more comfortable in selecting which ones are best for your business.
Plan Your Marketing Tactics
Once you have completed the research, choose the tactics and channels you’ll use to accomplish your goals and reach your target audience. This could be determined by customer habits and should align with your sales strategy.
Establish a timeline and budget for your marketing strategy that reaches your audience throughout the year. It should include all scheduled promotions for the entire year and a complete breakdown of their cost. Examples of items in a marketing timeline include increased advertising during the holiday season and a month-long promotion to boost sales.
It is also important to remember that a marketing strategy is not set in stone. As your business grows and evolves, so will your marketing strategy.
Your existing and potential customers fall into particular groups or segments characterized by their needs. Identify these groups and their needs through market research.
Once you have decided on your marketing strategy, draw up a marketing plan to determine how you intend to execute that strategy and evaluate its success. The plan should be constantly reviewed and, if necessary, updated so you can respond quickly to changes in customer needs and attitudes in your industry and in the broader economic climate.
A buyer persona is a representation of your target audience. It’s a picture you paint based on research and interviews with actual customers. This persona is fictional but based on deep research.
Your plan is nothing without goals. You have to know what you’re working toward to determine the best way to get there. The best kind of goals are SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals are easy to meet. Your goals should cover a full calendar year and align with your business plan, including the products or services you offer.
Select the Appropriate Tools
Don’t waste money paying for things you won’t use. For instance, paying for a billboard wouldn’t make sense if you’re trying to increase your social media engagement.
Review Your Media
Measure twice, cut once! It’s hard to edit a campaign that’s already live. Review your media to make sure it aligns with your brand and the message you’re trying to send.
Monitor Your Results
Test and analyze. Identify the strategies that are working. Survey customers, track sales, leads, visitors to your website, and percentage of sales to impressions. By establishing goals for your marketing campaign, you can better understand whether or not your efforts are generating results through ongoing review and evaluation of results. By researching your markets and your competition and determining your unique positioning, you’re in a much better position to promote and sell your product or service.
We hope you feel more prepared for your marketing endeavors! We at Nuvo offer marketing services tailored to your wants and needs. We are driven by results and motivated to make and keep you satisfied. Interested in what we can do for you? Check out our Capabilities tab for more info on how we can help improve your business’s digital presence.