If you want to start a successful business, it’ll be essential to devise a way to market your goods or services to customers. Even the most brilliant business ideas need a brilliant marketing strategy to ensure that the business is visible to potential customers.
The first step to creating a winning marketing strategy is to complete a Competitive Analysis. A Competitive Analysis is a brainstorm exercise that helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of potential competitors in your field. It’s a great way to determine the pre-existing marketing strategies used by your competitors and pinpoint how your business could either replicate or improve on these strategies. Check out this guide from Hubspot which details everything you need to know about conducting a Competitive Analysis, including a link to download a free Competitive Analysis template.
The next step is to use the information you’ve gathered in the Competitive Analysis to create a Marketing Plan. A Marketing Plan is a tool that helps entrepreneurs to establish and track the marketing strategies of a business over a period of time. This article from Simply Business provides a step-by-step guide on creating a Marketing Plan. To save you time, here are our top 5 takeaways:
- Work out your goal: What objectives do you want your marketing efforts to achieve?
- Research and analyse: Take time to scope out your competitors and understand their marketing strategies.
- Streamline your strategy: Define exactly which marketing channels you will use to advertise.
- Measuring performance: Consider using Key Performance Indicators to track the success of your marketing strategy.
- Consider the admin: Determine how much your strategy will cost to implement, and if you will need to hire anyone to help.
If you’re looking for more top tips on creating a marketing plan, check out the video guide below. Here’s what’s covered in the video:
Learn about marketing plan basics – 1:01
Step 1: Start with an executive summary – 2:26
Step 2: State your company’s mission, vision and values – 3:04
Step 3: Identify the market and competition – 3:33
Step 4: Define your target customer – 4:37
Step 5: Outline your marketing goals – 5:50
Step 6: Present your marketing strategy – 6:54
Step 7: Define your marketing budget – 8:04
Once your business begins to grow, you’ll need to create a more advanced marketing plan to set out your various strategies for the year ahead. Check out this tool created by Hubspot, which uses your specific marketing goals and initiatives to generate a unique 12-month marketing plan for your business.
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