Formulating a Marketing Plan for your Startup

A marketing plan is a document outlining the market strategies of a business and how to implement them.

This is done through a market analysis which is the future characteristics, behaviours and trends in your target market.

Historical data is used to make informed estimates that are predictive in determining the direction of future trends.

Tips on how to formulate your business marketing plan

Set your marketing goals

It is wise to have SMART marketing goals as a startup. These plans allow you to plan activities around community events that are in line with your marketing goals. A good way to define your market is to separate them into categories: these are immediate, short-term and long-term categories.

The marketing goals could aim at increasing your income, expand your client base, discourage competition, improve your brand image, promote your existing and new products and services and gaining or retain market share.

Conduct a market audit

This is the review of all marketing activities that have occurred in your market segment over the past; such as in the last six months, one year or two.

Make effort to review all adverts conducted, marketing emails sent to your clients, marketing calls done, brochures and any other form of marketing that you have done to bring traction to your business.

A clear market plan is developed through a thorough business and market analysis.

Conduct market research

The purpose of market research is to draw a realistic picture of your product or service to your current and target market share.

In doing the research, it is possible to forecast future growth for your target market, know your competitors and explore other market niches available in the market segment.

Market research is a hectic process yet very crucial. It calls for a dedicated team to come with detailed and useful research.

Market planning through analysis of the research

The marketing department can draw meaningful information from the analysed data, collected from the market research. Through analysis, the business will be able to understand the market needs and wants of its target clients.

Once the analysis has been done, the startup will be able to align itself with providing products and services that meet the needs of the customers. Additionally, a research analysis will guide the marketing team in understanding the marketing strategy that fits best.

The findings from the research may prompt the business to modify some of its goals to fit the market trends. 

Identify your target audience

Market planning involves identifying and understanding your target audience to direct your market efforts.

Focus on your market segment’s demographics, geographic and psychographic details and how effectively you can plan your market approach to fit them.

Determine a Budget

The business should allocate a budget to the marketing plan in consideration of the business goals. For a Start-up, it is good to know that there exist marketing strategies very cheap to implement. Strategies like customer referrals are very effective yet they cost nothing. A memorable customer experience is all you ought to do.  

Develop market strategy

A concrete market strategy is drafted for the market research done. These strategies should be related to a specific goal and should have numerous action points.

Create an implementation timetable

Create a schedule that shows the systematic marketing activities to be undertaken and its team players. It should include the timelines and specific activities to be done.

Outsourcing of competent skills or retraining of marketing employees would be necessary for successful strategy implementation.

Evaluation plan

Successful marketing plans depends on effective implementation. This is possible through continuous monitoring and evaluation of the bit by bit strategies implementation. It is advisable to have proper monitoring and evaluation strategies in the marketing plan.

A good marketing plan is a key to the success of any startup. Some of the parting shots include; a commitment to the implementation plan, a timely allocation of adequate resources, flexibility to inevitable changes, actively and frankly brainstorming with your staff on the milestones and setbacks encountered along the way.