Most businesses we work with know they need to have a plan, but don’t even know where to start with a marketing strategy and action plan. It can be a rather daunting thought, trying to get everything down on paper but don’t over think it. We stress that this shouldn’t be something you write and then hide in a drawer until next year. It needs to be a working document with input from all areas of your organisation which you refer to throughout 2019 and beyond.

Essentially, this marketing strategy should keep you on the right course to make your business goals a reality. It’s an overarching plan to give your team guidance but will be complimented with a more detailed action plan and content calendar.

To make the planning a little easier, we’ve pulled together a list of what you ought to include and if you get in touch we can help you with a variety of templates and guidance to further support the development of a clear and concise marketing strategy for 2019.

1.) Summarise your business
This summary should give an overview of who you are as a business, your mission statement, USP and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis.

2.) Look to the future
What are your long term and short term goals? What activities will you conduct to meet them? These goals should be specific to marketing, measurable, achievable, and timely.

3.) Identify your target customers
You can draw upon insights from your website and social media stats plus any info you have of current customers. You need to be able to outline who you’re targeting, describing the demographics and psychographics of your customers. This is incredibly important so that you can ‘speak the language’ of your target audience.

4.) Competitor details
Consider what your competitors do well and how they approach their marketing strategy. It’s also good to note their main weaknesses. This will help you improve on what you offer to stay ‘ahead of the game’.

5.) Marketing strategy
This section should outline how you intend to approach the market and attract customers to achieve your goals outlined above. It’s worth addressing the 4 ‘P’s of marketing (this marketing mix has been expanded to 7 ‘P’s but 4 is a good place to start).

PRODUCT – selling the right product for your target customers, consider packaging, quality, features and positioning.
PRICE – what is your pricing strategy, offers/ promotions.
PLACE – where will you sell/ distribute to reach your target customers.
PROMOTION – how will you use various mediums such as PR and online digital marketing methods for the promotion of your product.

6.) Budget
If you already have an allocated budget, detail how it will be spent in relation to your marketing strategy. If you’re pitching for budget from the wider business, we can help you create an informed action plan with estimated costs and contingency.

We hope this helps you to make a start on your marketing strategy. This document will be really useful as a roadmap for the year ahead and more importantly as a reference when measuring your marketing success.

The Planit Scotland team actively work with a number of business on developing these plans and then forming a clear action plan and content calendar for the year ahead. If you think it might be useful to meet with a member of our team and discuss your marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch.