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Tips on setting up an effective marketing plan for your business

Tips on setting up an effective marketing plan for your business

cartoon businesspeople sitting on chair and using tablet

For existing businesses and startups alike, strong marketing plans are essential elements for ultimate success. For many Chicago-area business owners who might be product or service experts but not marketing professionals, developing or adjusting these plans can be complex and time consuming.

The following are some tips that can serve as a guide when a new marketing strategy is needed.

Start with the basics

Hubspot provides a great reminder that starting with the right foundational elements is a must. Every marketing plan must be led by a clear identification of the target audience, value proposition and accompanying messages and company goals. A thorough competitive review should be an integral part of this first step. Be sure to appropriately identify your top-tier competitors for maximum benefit.

It is important here to note that goals should be outlined for overall company results (such as sales growth) as well as for each marketing activity. For example, the purpose of a given activity may be to increase brand awareness or drive site traffic as a means to supporting the overall company goals. Each activity and its associated goal or goals should be clearly identified.

Plan for change

Because all of the above factors will change over time, a marketing plan should be considered a living document that is continually reviewed and amended. This will allow a company to adjust with the business and market needs, driving maximum results and revenue. Businesses are rarely able to predict all of the changes that will be faced, making this a critical element.

Leverage data

As recommended by Inc., the capture and review of key analytics should drive any marketing plans. Every key activity should have an associated set of metrics that are regularly collected and utilized so that all business decisions are appropriately targeted.

Diversify your digital marketing

The business finance company, DB Squared, is quick to point out that a diversified digital marketing portfolio is a must. Online prospects can and should be found in multiple places and in multiple ways. This includes websites, blogs and social media platforms at a minimum. Email marketing has made a resurgence in popularity (and results) when appropriately targeted and online advertising also provides ripe opportunities for lead generation.

Plans that drive results

When businesses take the time to plan their activities appropriately, they are far more likely to achieve the results they want or need. For some, this may require the use of outsourced serviced which should be a consideration as well. Even if external vendors are used, the principles noted above should guide the development of any marketing plan.

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