Many companies underspend on their marketing efforts when they view marketing as whatever is left over from operational costs or overspend when they do not define their target market. One of the best ways to ensure your marketing budget is being well invested is to create a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan.
A marketing plan should include defining your target marketing, defining your position against competitors in your market and tactics to reach your target market and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Here are the 6 steps:
- Figure out your sales funnel including tracking results through the revenue cycle from prospect to customer. Review website traffic, leads and sales so you have something to measure.
- Operational costs – how much cost in time and labor to deliver contacts? Do you have the staff to handle internally or can you hire an agency? The costs may be higher, but the results can justify the additional expenditure.
- Determine business goals – what are the objectives per quarter and year
- Treat marketing dollars as an investment ~something that will bring you a quantifiable return over time.
- Where are you at in your business growth – you are either in growth mode or planning mode
- Understand current and future trends. A marketing budget should include traditional market approaches as well as the emerging social media market. Don’t always react to the latest and greatest marketing idea without research.