Two things that are of utmost importance to any business are resources and time. And oddly enough, these are also the two things that most of the businesses face the maximum paucity of. It seems like there are never enough resources to expand the business further, and never enough time to handle all the multifaceted responsibilities that are there. In such a scenario, we believe, having a sound marketing plan is like getting half the problem solved because not only does it saves a business from wasting time in futile strategies, but also ensures that investing resources brings the maximum returns.
Now, having a successful marketing plan in the highly competitive environment of today is not the simplest of jobs. It is a multistep process where every element deserves due importance in order to get the desired outcome. On that note, without further ado, let’s at what those key elements in a marketing plan are and the vital roles that they play.
A thorough and detailed market research
We’ll start our discussion with market research, which indeed forms the most vital element in any marketing plan. The potential customers of a business come from particular segments or groups, and these groups have their specific needs. Reading market reports and carrying out thorough market research helps identify these groups and their needs. The business that answers these needs the best is the one that edges past its competition.
Positioning according to the target market
A target market refers to the segment of the market that has your most likely buyers, and hence, is the most profitable for your business. A successful marketing plan is the one that makes the most of your strength in keeping with the demands of your market. For instance, if both foreign-born employees and students form the target market for your English speaking classes, then your job here is to fulfil the separate set of fees, timings, and tutoring demands for both. You would know your positioning is just right when your target market sees you as its go-to place for its needs.
Running an analysis of your competitors
A clever marketing plan is the one that does not forget the element of competition in the business. You need to know the ins and outs of the competition, right from their price point and product quality, to identify how their services and products are different from yours. It will help you in modifying and formulating a better business strategy to stand out in the market.
Setting quantifiable marketing goals
It is imperative that your marketing goals are quantifiable so that you can accurately track your progress. It is important to have targets, such as boosting annual income by X%, increasing customer acquisition by Y%, increasing sales by Z%, within a set timeframe. A good plan keeps a constant track of all these factors to ensure that things are going as planned.
Keeping the budget considerations in mind
Budget is an important element of your plan because it helps in setting the limits of how far your efforts can go. Every business, irrespective of the size and scope, must have a monthly schedule of the amount to be kept aside for marketing. Nevertheless, it is also crucial to keep a ‘red signal’ point in the budgeting decisions, which tells you when to put a stop to the initiatives that are not generating enough returns on investments.
We, at Times TSW, an initiative by Times Professional Learning, believe the catalyst for such a successful marketing plan is a skilled and proficient professional who is well-aware of the fluctuations and advancements in the market and lays out the marketing strategies accordingly. Creating such marketing professionals is exactly what we, at Times TSW, are aiming to accomplish as the exclusive delivery partners for IIM Kozhikode’s Executive Post Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management (EPGCMM) programme.
The IIM Kozhikode’s EPGCMM programme can help you sharpen and polish your understanding of the classical and contemporary marketing frameworks, enabling you to analyse and conceptualise such marketing decisions that will help you take your business closer to its goals. Register for IIM Kozhikode’s Executive Post Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management Programme at Times TSW and kick start your journey to emerging as a marketing expert.