3 Tips to Create a Strategic Marketing Plan*

*A Marketing Plan to drive your business goals.

What’s the most common question I get from business owners I meet? How can my sales—and my business—flourish.

Starting with the target audience, my team then develops the message to convert them and then devises an effective strategy for cost-effectively delivering it – in other words, and strategic marketing plan.

As part of the process, we ask ourselves the following three questions:

1. Who is the target audience for your marketing plan?

You wouldn’t give your cat dog food, would you? It’s not for them, unfortunately. In the same way, one wouldn’t advertise items or services to folks who do not apply (I’ve seen this a lot).

The intended audience for this strategic marketing plan is dog-ownership, which the little red guy takes pride in—trying to sell him cat food? So your target audience should be the main focus of whatever media strategy you develop.

What are you going to do to get in touch with them? Consider a local Top 40 radio station that caters to women between the ages of 18 and 34. At the same time each day, I hear a commercial for a funeral home on my way to work. Consider this for a moment. The station’s programming is for a female audience between 18 and 34. I shrug my shoulders and sigh resignation.

It’s unlikely that the station’s primary audience is at all interested in funeral homes, and it’s doubtful that she’s even thinking about it. So in light of this, what’s the next thing you should ask?

2. What’s the best vehicle to reach your target audience?

marketing plan
Is Porsche’s integrated marketing plan aimed at you?

You wouldn’t pick up your five children from school in a two-seat Porsche, would you? Because it isn’t feasible. It’s unrealistic to expect hundreds of clients to come to your business if you use improper advertising methods.

The fact that there are no photos of children in or near Porsches only serves to reinforce my case. I understand how overwhelming it may be. When it comes to media buying, there are many options: internet display, TV/cable, newspaper, radio, billboards, etc. With each medium comes a sales agent who calls with an offer you cannot refuse. Is it possible for media sales reps to understand your company’s long-term objectives and, more significantly, to grasp how diverse media solutions can work together to achieve those objectives?

Remember the story about the funeral home?? I inquired why a funeral parlor would advertise on a local radio station. What was the reaction? As a result of their daily listening, the funeral home workers are eager to hear their commercial, not considering if they reached the right audience and that audience’s favorite station. You’re more likely to see this than you think. Now that you have a better idea of who you’re trying to reach, you can decide if the vehicle you’ve chosen is the best one or not.

3. What’s it going to cost to reach them with your marketing plan?

There are various ways to get your message in front of your intended audience. But the big question is this: will you reach your target audience with your budget?

So, let’s say we’ve discovered four media outlets that are ideal for reaching your target demographic. Like those at idc, the best media strategists should be able to develop a media plan that takes advantage of all of your alternatives to maximize your budget, no matter how small it may be. If you don’t have enough money for media advertising, your campaign won’t be as effective as it may be. Money that could impact other areas becomes wasted when budgets get too big (yes, this is a real problem).

Reach out to idc marketing if your business is looking for a strategic marketing plan that drives sales by targeting the right audience with the right message and the budget to cost-efficiently reach them.