A great strategic marketing plan is your most valuable business asset.
If your business has great marketing, you can be lacking in other areas for a while (not forever) and still get really rich.
BS, you say?
T. Harv Eker earned a fortune in business. And he started his first successful company, a home fitness store, with only a $2000 cash advance on a credit card.
That only covered his first and last month’s rent! No merchandise, no furniture, no displays, not even a cash register. Just an empty room.
He managed to get a single exercise machine on 30-day credit… and that was his entire inventory on opening day. Talk about a lean startup!
Yet in less than 3 years, he had not 1, but 10 stores, fully equipped with all the bells and whistles. He sold the business and became rich.
How did he do it, starting with an empty storefront and a cardboard sign!?
It was all marketing.
Marketing is the most important area of your business… because it’s the only thing that actually brings you income.
If your marketing sucks, everything else in your business can be top-notch… and you can still fail.
Great marketing will give you more money and resources. So, you’ll have more freedom to systemize your business and take control of your time.
Great marketing also lets you help more people, and make a bigger impact:
- Your marketing itself can provide inspiration, entertainment, and education.
- As your business grows, you can serve more customers.
- And as you gain more resources, you can give more to causes you care about.
Sadly, a lot of business owners avoid marketing because it makes them uncomfortable. They think it’s manipulative or sleazy. They don’t want to impose on people. Or they don’t believe what they’re offering is valuable.
But marketing is completely natural– most relationships contain an element of marketing. The way you present yourself to bosses, coworkers, and dates… all marketing! Planning your marketing just adds a focused and systemized approach.
That systemization is key because random marketing is expensive and ineffective. You need a strategic marketing plan that organizes and guides your actions… so you get the most benefit for the lowest cost.
Now we’ll walk you through the main steps for creating your plan. And while we’ve packed this awesome post with tons of info, it’s still just the tip of the iceberg. So we’ll also point you toward extra resources to help you make it the most effective and successful for you.
Strategic Marketing Plans – Not As Scary As They Sound
Strategic marketing plan… sounds complicated, right?
But it’s just a tool that helps all your marketing efforts work together so you get better results. It takes a little upfront thinking, but the rewards are well worth it.
The first thing to know about a marketing plan is that it’s written down, not just floating around in your head. But that doesn’t mean it’s static. It’s a “living” document that you actively use on a regular basis and change over time.
And because it’s clear, specific, and—once again—written down, other people can use it, too. That means you don’t have to do everything. You can delegate tasks you don’t enjoy, and focus on the things you do best.
How To Devise A Strategic Marketing Plan That Makes Your Dreams Come True
Creating your strategic marketing plan happens in two phases: Preparation and Activation.
Preparation helps you answer basic questions about your business:
- What are you selling, to whom, and why?
- Where do you stand in the marketplace?
- How do you become the best choice for your target audience?
Your answers will guide your marketing efforts, which make up the Activation phase.
We’ve broken this down into a simple step-by-step process, so grab a pen and paper or open a blank document on your computer, and let’s do this!
Phase 1: Preparation
Step 1: Your Business Purpose
What is your mission as a company? Your values and beliefs? What impact do you want to have in the world?
Please don’t just say, “To make money.” That’s a given, but if you’re only focused on money, odds are, you’ll fail. Think beyond the bottom line to the real purpose of what you’re doing. That’s what customers will connect with.
For example, business research firm Cone found that “87% [of Americans] will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about.”
So decide what you stand for and market to people with similar values.
Step 2: Target Audience
You earn money by solving problems for people. So you have to know which people you’re helping and what problems you’re solving for them. Decide who your target audience is and learn everything you can about them.
Develop a “customer avatar”– a detailed description of your best customer. It should include demographic data and describe their beliefs, desires, and challenges.
Step 3: Understand Your Market And Competitors
Knowing your market can save you a lot of time and effort. Study what’s been done before, and what competitors are currently doing. This can help you figure out what’s worked, what’s missing, and how you can stand out.
There are several analysis frameworks that can help you. The most common is SWOT– strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Others include 5C for situation analysis and PEST for macroeconomic factors.
And beyond frameworks, take some time to look at others’ marketing. See what they’re doing and try to understand why.
Step 4: Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
The last step in the Strategic marketing Plan Preparation stage is figuring out what makes you and your offer uniquely awesome for your customers. What’s something you can do better than anyone else?
You need to be able to communicate what sets your business apart. Make your product or service irresistible. Create a “wow” factor that makes your audience feel they NEED what you offer (and ideally, need it NOW).
Turn this into a clear, concise message using the same words and phrases your target audience uses to talk about their desires and pains. This is your USP.
Phase 2: Activation
How can you communicate that you’re the best choice for your customers? To find out, you set goals, test specific tactics, measure your results, then refine, and repeat.
Step 5: Timeframe And Goals
For any marketing activities, define your goals and be sure to include a timeframe. The SMART goal system covers all your bases– it stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
Your ultimate goal is more revenue and profit, but that might not be your immediate aim. For example, you might want to increase opt-ins or get more testimonials. Or your goal could be to give more consultations or get feedback.
Step 6: Campaigns, Tactics, Specific Offers
Once you have your goals, it’s time to put the plan together for achieving them. A particular marketing effort is usually called a “campaign”. It’s the specific way you’re going to try to meet your goals, in alignment with all your work in the Preparation phase.
There are frameworks for this as well. The most traditional one is called the Four P’s: product, price, place, and promotion. This is sometimes called your “marketing mix”.
Product – What are you offering in this particular campaign (e.g. a new offer or a special bundle)?
Example – You’re offering a new app, plus a free PDF guide that helps customers get maximum value.
Price – What is the standard price? And what discounts or extra value are you offering?
Example – You plan to charge a monthly subscription fee. But for this campaign, early adopters get lifetime access for a single payment.
Place – Where are you selling and promoting it? Are you using direct mail, online ads, print ads, email, or another medium?
Example – You’re promoting it through Facebook ads that invite people to join an email list. You offer the special deal via email. They get it on your website.
Promotion – How are you expressing the core elements you came up with in the preparation phase– your mission, target audience, and USP.
Example – You explain why you created this awesome app that helps your audience solve a problem they know they have.
Also, be sure to consider these aspects of your campaign:
- Who will organize the work and who will do each task?
- “Back-end” offers for delayed sales, upsells, and repeat business.
Step 7: Ways To Measure Results
If you want a marketing campaign to give you $20,000 in revenue in the next 90 days, how will you know it’s working? You need to be able to track progress toward your goals.
That means creating a system to identify where sales are coming from.
If you’re using online marketing, like Facebook ads, you can use the analytics tools they provide.
If your strategy is more organic, like reaching out personally to 100 people, you can use a simple spreadsheet or even a handwritten list.
Use the tools that work best for you, without taking a huge amount of your time to set up. As your business grows, you can develop more sophisticated systems and hire people with more expertise to manage them.
Common Problems In Marketing Plans
No plan is perfect, but with a little foresight, you can avoid the usual traps.
Don’t Confuse Tactics With Strategy – Your marketing strategy is the entirety of your plan. How you run a particular campaign is a tactic. Your tactics should align with your strategy.
Consider Your Resources – You need a plan you’re capable of implementing with your current skills and resources. For example, if one of your competitors is a huge company with economies of scale on their side, trying to beat them on price might not be practical.
At the campaign level, if you plan to run Facebook ads, for example, make sure you or your team have the skills, knowledge, and funds to do it effectively.
Implementing all of the information above will put you far ahead of most other business owners. And… it’s just the beginning! There’s only so much information we can put in a blog post, and we’ve barely scratched the surface on the power of effective marketing.
How To Skyrocket Your Marketing Results
If you want to utilize your new marketing plan to the fullest and start implementing it immediately, we want to help you take the next step.
We’d like to invite you to join T. Harv Eker for an amazing online training experience, called
When you attend, you’ll discover the biggest mistakes people make in marketing, so that you never fall into the same trap, as well as shortcuts for maximizing your results, and your income just by becoming a master marketer.
Harv has helped over 2 million students create wealth in business, and this is your chance to get the wisdom and teachings straight from the source… for FREE.
Click here to save your spot and skyrocket your marketing results.
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