Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have more marketing options than they have had ever before. Low barriers on marketing automation and social media platforms present massive opportunities for smaller businesses, at the same time, it also means increased complexity and more channels to keep track off. This could potentially be a problem for smaller marketing teams which can be easily overwhelmed.
However SMEs need to keep in mind their objectives and how these different channels can help to achieve those objectives. This is where a marketing plan can help you track your progress. Marketing plans can vary in style and strategy, but most of them are well thought through and organized. Ultimately your marketing plan should provide your company’s direction within a stated period.
Do you have a marketing plan? Not sure where to start and what to include in your marketing plan? This post will give a brief overview of the minimum components typically in a marketing plan.
This section will sum up all the major points outlined in your marketing plan. Place emphasis on major issues and briefly convey what your company plans to do and how.
Information about your company forms an integral part your marketing plan. This is where you elaborate briefly on your business objectives and what is it that you want to achieve through your business venture. This section is also where you introduce your company’s products and/or services, including their respective descriptions and target markets. You may also want to include your latest financial reports and other relevant figures. (If you need assistance with preparing your company’s financial reports, contact us today.) In addition, do include a brief profile of your core team members to demonstrate your company’s capabilities.
Market Conditions and PESTLE & SWOT Analysis
This section defines the current marketing conditions your company is in such as the size and demographics of your target market segments and major competitors offering similar products and/or services. This can be easily presented through a PESTLE and SWOT analysis. The intent of including such analysis is to access the market conditions for your company. Such analysis identifies all various external political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors that may have an impact on the company. In addition to external factors, you must also identify your company’s strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. With all this information, you can then access all identified factors and the risk it poses to make informed decisions.
Marketing Goals & Strategies
Marketing goals are a subset of your business objectives. Setting them can be difficult at times, but it is important to align marketing goals with business goals. By establishing these goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART), you will know exactly what you are working towards. Build your marketing strategy around these goals and after a specific time-frame (e.g.; a quarter), take a step back and look at the data. With this, you may make adjustments to your goals. The marketing goals your set may not be perfect, and adjusting them based on newly acquired information is necessary to keep moving forward.
Lastly, your marketing plan must include an overview of the budget allocated for each activity outlined in your previous section: marketing goals and strategies. Any business activity will incur a certain costs, and it is important that you allocate resources including funds for these planned strategies. In addition, when implementing your marketing plan, you should have a clear perspective of the available funds before executing such activities.