The best way to ensure that something will be successful is to plan it out first. The same is true with marketing campaigns. A solid and comprehensive marketing plan should always be created before you ever send your marketing campaign to the market. Here is a 6-step approach to constructing a fool-proof marketing plan.
- Segment your market. If your product or service appeals to a lot of different types of consumers, then one marketing campaign will not work for everyone who purchases your products or services. Markets can be segmented according to demographics, psychographics, geographics, behavioral/usage, and consumer benefit. It is up to you to decide which method is most appropriate for your market. Keep in mind that you can combine segmentation approaches if it makes sense for your product.
- Select a target market. After you have segmented your market, you must choose a particular segment as your target market. A target market is the specific group of customers toward which you direct your marketing efforts. Bear in mind that the smaller and more definite your target market, the easier it will be to tailor your marketing campaign.
- Develop a consumer buying decision process model. Understanding the behavior and decision-making process of your consumers is integral in molding your marketing campaign. Knowing the steps that consumers go through before they purchase your product will help you determine what you should do to comfort them and encourage their decision to buy.
- Create a marketing mix. The marketing mix is the foundation to your marketing plan. The four aspects of your marketing mix are product, price, promotion, and place (4 P’s). Product, obviously, is what you are going to sell. Price is how much you are going to sell it for. Promotion is how you are going to advertise and promote your product. And place is how and where you are going to distribute your product to consumers.
- Determine a positioning strategy. A positioning strategy is how you want your product to be viewed by consumers relative to your competition. This is important so you can figure out how to customize your marketing campaign. For example, if your positioning strategy is “a fast and cheap alternative,” then running a luxurious ad campaign will not accurately reflect your product.
- Predict changes in environmental forces. Environmental forces are anything that can impact your product’s future success. The six main types of environmental forces are economic, natural, competitive, socio-cultural, political/legal, and technological. All of these forces can effect the success of your product and marketing campaign, so it is important to plan for them.
These are the six main components to a thorough marketing plan. After composing all the aspects of a marketing plan, you should know exactly how to compile an effective marketing campaign.