Not every marketing plan is a good marketing plan. There are certain qualities it needs to meet to be able to do what it is supposed to do and be considered an effective plan that will convert customers and be successful.
It is easy to tell a “potentially successful” marketing plan apart from a mediocre marketing plan. Generally, there is a framework that a killer marketing strategy would follow. This article will look a five qualities of such a plan. I’ll be using example of a fashion brand since it is easier to follow.
1. Focus on the market.
Your target market should be narrowly defined. You can’t please everybody. Doing so will actually put more pressure on you and may result in losses. A fashion brand’s target market can be anyone, but it has to be narrowed. You have to first decide between genders (male or female) and then the age factor.
Everything else in your plan will be essentially based on your target audience. Other factors that need to be taken into consideration are your target audience’s likes and dislikes and purchasing power. The formula lies in choosing, dividing and then conquering.
2. Focus on the product.
This goes hand in hand with the market focus, but needs its own heading. If you’re targeting working women in their 50s then offer quality, formal and semi formal dresses. Also, explain what a certain product does. For example, if you offer shoes that help gain height, explain how they work. Such a product will further narrow down your target audience to shorter women, allowing you to market even more effectively.
3. Have measureable specifics.
Everything should be quantifiable and ideally in numbers. Include all major and minor details with proper dates since a timeline is important. A good marketing plan is driven by strategy, but the details and tactics will give it the push it needs.
The plan has to show result of each activity so that it becomes easy to measure ROI.
A fashion brand cannot have vague goals like “product quality clothes” or “make clients happy.” While, it is important to produce high-quality products and have happy clients, such goals are not quantifiable and hence should not be a part of such a plan. Instead, have solid goals like “reach $1 million sales in five years.” This again, depend on the timeline if your marketing plan is for one year or five years.
If you are starting a new business you can have both short-term and long-term marketing plans. Both these plans need to be interconnected, i.e: your short term marketing plan should help you attain your long-term goals. However, make sure your goals are attainable.
4. Accountability and responsibility.
Do not count on people to do their job, especially in groups. The truth is that groups get done very little when compared to individuals. To get better results, have a specific task for every individual and ask them to work on it.
Take care of the accountability factor and keep an eye on results to make sure all individuals are putting their best foot forward. Be sure to reward achievement and reprimand for failure to meet the desired goals.
A good marketing plan needs more than just involvement — you need to be committed to it. Everyone should know their job and be aware of the outcomes of performing or not performing their part well.
5. Revisions and reviews.
A marketing plan is really a planning process and not a plan. We live in a dynamic environment and cannot afford to have static marketing plans. A good marketing plan will do everything from setting goals to tracking performance and measuring it in quantifiable units. It requires to be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary.
The marketing group should sit together to see how their plan is working and if anything needs to change. Even if is a five-year plan, it does not mean you will sit down and talk about it at the end of the five-year period. You have to discuss the plan regularly and see if it is going as planned.
For example, in case of a fashion brand, your prices may change within a few months due to high demand or change in the prices of raw material. This would require your marketing plan to change as well since your goals will need to be revised.
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This article first appeared in www.entrepreneur.com