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4 pillars that all marketing plans must have

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Is your marketing strategy progressive and authentic to your brand?

As an iPhone user, I was quite excited when Apple released data-restriction features last 2021. I was looking forward to seeing more of my friends and families on my Facebook feed and less of stalker-like ads.

When it was rolled out, I enjoyed a bit of ad-free days until the brands started creeping back through the crevices of the other apps I used such as YouTube, Instagram, and even through a money remittance app.

In the online world, we (consumers) can run but we cannot hide. Due to the drastic change, even though advertisers weren’t able to reach me through Facebook, they were still finding me through the other apps I use.

Unintentionally, I kept exposing myself again for the brands and companies to see.

The adaptable digital marketer

The marketing strategy that worked in 2021 might not work in 2022 and beyond. You might have to change it to give way to a new purchasing behaviour or a new product.

But are you going to overhaul the marketing plan you painstakingly created or simply tweak it?

You don’t have to start from square one. If you were able to collect data from your previous campaign, you can begin with that.

If you are starting from scratch, don’t worry. This article will help you prioritize which factors of a marketing plan are needed to be completed first.

Starting a marketing plan without the end in mind – or even the basic knowledge – is doomed to fail.

Four pillars of a Marketing plan

To build a sturdy house you need a blueprint first to get the architect, designers, and construction team on the same page. After that, they lay down the foundation and then, its pillars.

The pillars shouldn’t just be strong, they must be the right kind for the soil they are standing on. This is the same with laying out a marketing plan.

Pillar 1: Your current status

Have you ever joined a “Biggest Loser” challenge? Or just attempted to ditch a bit of weight? Whenever you plan to shred fat, you weigh in first to know the baseline or starting point and set a goal for it.

To know whether your efforts are working or not, you must know where you stand amidst your competitors and also gauge if the target you’re aiming for is realistic.

In your company, are you 10 clients short of your monthly target? Did the recent campaign reveal that your product doesn’t sell well on Instagram? You got to know all of the marketing data at all times.

You can also look into trend reports, and conference presentations about your industry. With them, you can make better business decisions and get off to a good (re)start.

Stay updated on what’s happening in your industry and how your competitors are doing. As you observe them, try to answer these questions:

  • What are the obstacles they face?
  • What is their success strategy?
  • What areas need improvement?

Pillar 2: Your product

Become knowledgeable about the product or service you’re offering.

In my previous work, everyone in the company was required to spend time with the sales representative while they handed out fliers and offered the products to passers-by.

I was totally out of my element then. I went home really tired but I wrote better content after that exercise.

Depending on what you sell, you can request a testimonial, an in-depth interview, or an immersion with the clients while or after they use the product.

It’s critical to be open-minded during these sessions and focus on how the product can be better presented.

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Pillar 3: Your target market

If you’re familiar with SMART goals, using them to your advantage is a fantastic idea but avoid the numbers trap. Most companies that rely on numbers overlook the basics such as customer happiness.

Obsession with numbers is easy, but setting client-centric goals are challenging.

Goals that put clients first may be subjective and difficult to measure. However, this strategy is what gets the sale and eventually, loyalty. I spoke about B2H Marketing in my previous article, check it out.

Instead of focusing on numbers, be obsessed with the customer journey. The customer journey is a roadmap detailing how a customer becomes aware of your brand, their interactions with your brand–and beyond.

You will learn more if you focus on the client.

Pillar 4: Your unique selling point (USP)

To pinpoint a product or a service’s unique selling point or USP, founders and marketing managers often look for it at the wrong places. They study charts, competitors, and product features hoping they can find the answer there.

Do you know what’s the actual USP of your product? The answer will come from your target market. Through consistent communication, you will eventually extract the real USP from your clients – the believers and the haters, alike.

Your USP will impact all your messaging, branding, and other marketing efforts. In order to translate the USP visually, consider hiring professionals, to help you create a far more thorough plan.

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Monitor, manage and improve

Finalizing the process involves monitoring, managing, and calculating the outcomes. Put your strategy into action by starting today and constantly revise with the target in sight.

A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.

It’s a raging war for attention out there and you can win marketing battles with a smart plan and a winning team. If needed, delegate specific responsibilities to an outside consultant or agency so you can focus on the strategy.

Your plan will need revisions every now and then but it is important to keep the pillars strong, stable and true to your brand.