Step One: Look inward.
Think of a company as if it was a person with its own unique personality and identity. With that in mind, create separate lists that identifies the business’s strengths, weaknesses and goals. Put everything down and create big lists. Don’t edit or reject anything.
Then, find priorities among the bullet points. If you’ve done this right, you’ll have more than you can use, and some more important than others. Kick some of the less important bullets off the list and move the ones that are important to the top. This sometimes requires input from managers as well.
Step Two: Look outward.
Make outlines of business’s opportunities and threats. Think of both as external to the business factors that you can’t control but can try to predict. Opportunities can include new markets, new products and trends that favor your business. Threats include competition and advances in technology that put you at a disadvantage.
Step Three: Focus on strategy.
Look for the intersection of the unique identity and the target market. In terms of business offerings, think about dropping those who aren’t in your target market.
For example, a restaurant business focused on healthy, organic and fine dining would probably cater to people more in tune with green trends and with higher-than-average disposable income. So, it might rule out people who prefer eating fast-food like hamburgers and pizza, and who look for bargains.
Step Four: Set measurable steps.
To get the details that are concrete and measurable. The marketing strategy should become a plan that includes monthly review, tracking and measurement, sales forecasts, expense budgets and non-monetary metrics for tracking progress. These can include leads, presentations, phone calls, links, blog posts, page views, conversion rates, proposals and trips etc.
Step Five: Review often and revise.
Just like the business plan, your marketing plan should continue to evolve along with the business. Assumptions will change, so adapt to the changing business landscape. Some parts of the plan also will work better than others, so review and revise to accommodate what you learn as you go.