Stop shooting blindly with your marketing
I may be biased, but I believe marketing is essential to any business. Yet many small businesses and nonprofits take a shotgun approach. They decide they need a website, so they get someone to build one for them. Social media seems important, so they have someone on their team start posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
The truth is that marketing is the most effective when part of an overarching plan. A strategic plan helps you make decisions based on your target market, helps you set measurable milestones and goals, provides an overarching roadmap with actionable steps, and helps keep you accountable.
Really, it fits all of your tactics into one strategic plan rather than taking a widespread approach and praying something sticks.
Reach your target market
A good marketing plan includes research about your potential clients and customers to better target your marketing activities. If your ideal client isn’t on Instagram, there’s no need for you to be active there.
Without understanding the details about your target audience, you can waste a lot of resources marketing to the wrong people. I advise people to even create audience personas, fictional representations of their target audience. Usually, 2-5 is sufficient.
Measure your progress
If you’re not measuring your progress, it can be challenging to know if your marketing is successful. Setting milestones and goals that are SMART is essential:
Create a roadmap
A well-thought-out and researched marketing plan will take all your disparate marketing activities and fit them into one cohesive strategy. This way, you can see how each tactic and platform fits into the larger picture and make adjustments as needed.
It also forces you to think about every aspect of your marketing, from research to execution to evaluation. This ensures you don’t overlook critical details and that each tactic and platform works together toward the larger goal.
Keep yourself accountable
Finally, your completed marketing plan helps you stick to it. A written document with clear phases and steps tells you what to do and when. That gives you an outline of what needs to happen, making it much more likely you’ll allocate the time, money, and other resources necessary to make it happen.
Hopefully, it’s obvious now that there are many reasons to consider creating a marketing plan for your business or nonprofit. You can put one together yourself or hire a professional or agency to build one for you. Regardless of which route you go, you’ll be in a much better position to achieve your organization’s goals with your marketing.
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About Tim Priebe
Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.
Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.