However, there is, of course, a bit more to it than that.
At FP Comms we have prepared a number of marketing audits and plans, we are aware of the opportunities and threats facing many organisations.
We know that too many companies rely on anecdotal evidence and have an ‘I know my customers’ attitude to drive their marketing strategy. However, more often than not the whispers on the sideline, are not a true representation of the overall business trends, your customer’s experience and their needs.
A marketing audit and plan will clearly identify who you should be marketing to, how to connect with your base and the things you need to pay attention to so that you can authentically connect with your audience.
There is one caveat, a marketing audit and plan can only be supported by a strategic business plan because your marketing plan will provide you with the direction for your company to maximise these opportunities and minimise the threats to achieve your business plan objectives. You do have a Business Plan or at least a goal?
FP Comms’ marketing plans are quite ‘amusing and scary’ as we push the boundaries of ‘realities’ to achieve our clients’ needs to develop their business plans.
Yes, we have worked with Sports Centres and Media Companies to pull together their 5-year marketing plans and these plans run in parallel with their business plan. Over the years what we know for certain, is that to achieve the kind of results the businesses wanted to achieve, it took an attitude of focus. Initially, we always faced resistance, simply because a marketing plan feels like unnecessary work and expenditure. However, it is amazing how much the client discovers through the process; the money they can save and the heartache they can avoid.
The discoveries within a plan always re-frame the client’s thinking, which achieves a practical, creative direction to obtain the corporate objectives.
Areas covered in a strategic marketing plan include:
- Confirmation of where your business is now, using the findings from a marketing audit.
- Recommendations of where the business needs to be, helping clients to set their business goals, vision, objective and clarification of the opportunities to pursue.
- Segmentation, targeting and positioning
- Clarifying the different profile of audiences the company should target
- What positioning the company and its products or services should take in the market place
- What the core approach should be in the market place and what marketing messages should be used
- Outlining recommendations regarding branding to help differentiate your company from your competitors.
- The Ps of marketing and how they give you a competitive edge
- Products or services you offer in the market and how these could be developed
- Pricing of your products and services and what is appropriate in your market
- Place or distribution of your products or services and where you should be selling your products and services
- Physical evidence – the experience your customers have of your brand and your service and how this could be improved
- People – who represent your brand and your service and what additional support and training they may need
- Processes – that you currently adopt and how these can be enhanced to increase sales and maintain customer relationships
- Promotion – the marketing promotion and marketing communications tactics you will need to implement to meet your objectives
- Monitoring and control
Your marketing plan will outline recommendations for monitoring the effectiveness of the activities, ensuring the plan stays on track to meet your business objectives. Activities, timescales and budgets will be provided in a spreadsheet allowing clients to discuss and confirm as relevant.
In developing the marketing plan, specific tools which are also used include:
- SWOT analysis
- PESTLE analysis
For more information visit http://www.fpcomms.co.uk/expertise-marketing-planning.html
- Pick six businesses you want to work within in the next 4 weeks?
- Write down the number of customers you want to attract to breakeven within the next 48 hours?