So you’re looking to create a marketing plan for your business. Whether you are building a new business or refreshing an existing business, a smart and well executed marketing strategy is key. For many business owners, this can be a daunting task. Where do you start? Who should you hire? What platforms fit your business? How much should you spend?
Hiring an experienced marketing team is key when it comes to growing your business. A good strategy and team can take care of keeping your business relevant, up to date and in the public’s mind, while you can continue to do what you love to do.
According to cmosurvey.org, as of August 2018, the average business spends 7.3% of their revenue on marketing. This is an increase from 6.9% just a year ago. To help you discover the different factors involved in creating a marketing plan, as well as hiring a marketing team, Jennasis’ Marketing Strategist & Content Analyst, Kelly Waite, helps shed some light on the whole process.
Factors to consider for your marketing plan
Kelly Waite starts by defining what a marketing strategy is and what it should do: “A marketing strategy should be a defined set of tasks to be completed and have some sort of idea or projected outcome of those activities based upon the results.”
She adds that there are three factors to consider when creating a marketing plan and, “By considering these 3 things will help to narrow down where, how, and when to build a specific marketing strategy with desired results.”
Factors to consider:
Goals / objectives
Potential sales vs effort
Goals and Objectives
First things first, Waite says your business needs to figure out why you need a new marketing strategy, “… business owners and marketing departments of today’s businesses’ are constantly being bombarded by the latest ‘thing’ someone is doing. They are getting emails, LinkedIn messages, phone calls, magazine articles, or recommendations from their colleagues of what they are doing in their business to grow sales or generate leads.” There is a wide variety of (options) that a company can do including, and not limited to: social media ads, influencer marketing, PR, email marketing, traditional print marketing and radio ads. Waite continues, “It can be very confusing for business owners who wonder what they should be doing. This confusion could lead them to try something that may or may not work in their industry or fit their goals.”
According to Waite, a marketing strategy begins with goals and objectives. But you’re going to have to dig deeper than wanting more leads or business. She advises you to be more specific and ask yourself the hard questions:
Is there a lot of competition in your industry?
Is there a business problem you are trying to solve?
Do you have the right sales people trying to close the leads you are currently generating?
As an example, Waite talks about the restaurant business. With so many out there, she explains, “The business problem you’re trying to solve is: How do you reach people and get them to know you? How can you generate foot traffic?”
Potential Sales vs Effort
According to Waite, “You have to match the amount of effort you have to take to get the desired results. Otherwise you’ll be left saying ‘x’ strategy didn’t work.”
For instance, the latest statistic for email marketing on average generates an 18.1% open rate. If you’re only sending to a list of 1000 you’re only going to have the potential of 181 opens. On average, conversions/sales generated as a result of opens is 10%, that means you only have a potential sales of about 18 units. If you need to sell 100 to be profitable then you’ll need to add more to your email list to get a potential result you’re looking for.
She suggests you, “Play out your scenario - see what is worst case scenario and what is best case scenario. Determine which strategy you should start with.” She adds, “Long gone are the days of only having a website or just social media or just SEO. We’re currently living in a world of noise and need to break through that to reach our target audience (another factor when considering your strategy).”
Who is your audience?
Knowing your audience is important. If you are a more traditional business that has been around for some years, you may need a combination in your strategy between digital and more traditional marketing methods (radio ads, flyers, and the like). If your clientele is a younger, more tech savvy audience, the latest in social media and other digital marketing would be a smart way to go.
If you are looking to expand your audience base, you may need to do some research to tell you what types of marketing strategy your new audience responds to currently. Check out the competition. What are they doing differently than what you’re doing?
Hiring the right marketing team
While looking for a firm to hire, it’s helpful to know what you’re team needs. Kelly Waite offers some food for thought when deciding if a marketing firm will be the right fit for your business:
If you have an in-house marketing team, know what they are experienced at and what is missing, Waite adds, “9 times out of 10 your in-house marketing person is not astute or experienced in every aspect of marketing. For example, they are a good writer for blogs, case studies, social content, etc. But that does not mean they’re an expert in website development or video production. Thus you will have gaps in experience in your team.” She suggests finding a firm that specializes in the things that can add to your current team. This allows you to scale up or down at any time depending on your needs. In the current market, graduates are becoming more specialized in specific areas of marketing and may not have exposure to others.
Why paying more can be worth it
Of course budget plays a factor. Depending on the size of your business, the 7.3% average being spent on marketing can change what you can get for your money. Trying to save money by hiring the cheapest proposal can work against your business in the long run. It can lead to less attention, bad strategy, backtracking, a need to rebrand…a lesser quality plan. Ultimately, it can cost you more than if you hired a more experienced team from the start. This, of course, isn’t always the case. Kelly Waite doesn’t like to use the word quality because it is subjective rather than objective. She suggests keeping your focus on the numbers, it takes away the emotion from the conversation and numbers don’t lie. Although, she reminds us, “you do need an experienced individual or team that knows that not all low numbers are bad.”
Once your goals and objectives are clear, hiring a team to strategize and follow through to help you achieve your sales goals is key. Jennasis & Associates can help you find success in building and implementing a marketing strategy that fits your needs and budget in today’s market. Contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcia Hudgel has been writing stories and poems since she was very young, and has honed the ability to write in a variety of styles, which she has done for a number of websites over the past few years. When not writing, she enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, mindfulness and meditation, especially to women in addiction recovery.