Your Business Needs a Marketing Plan

Your Business Needs a Marketing Plan

Your Business Needs a Marketing Plan

Before we begin let us first lay the foundation by answering the question, what is a marketing plan?

Every business utilizes marketing in different ways to engage their target market. A Marketing Plan is a comprehensive document that outlines your overall marketing efforts, including external and internal marketing, budget, and goals. A Marketing Plan is a blueprint that outlines how your business will implement a marketing strategy to achieve business objectives including sales targets or customer acquisition. 

While a business marketing plan cannot guarantee success, it can make the difference between success and failure.

Here are 4 reasons your business needs a marketing plan.

Reason 1 – A Marketing Plan Maximizes your Marketing Budget and ROI

We all know when we go to the store and browse we tend to overspend, compared to going to the store with a list and a plan on what we need to get.

If you are spending on marketing because you heard your business needs this, and you read that your business needs that, and someone approached you about social media assistance so now you are paying for that to… you ARE NOT making educated decisions, creating accountability between you and your vendors, and have no way of evaluating what is working and what isn’t. 

A component of a marketing plan involves setting a marketing budget.   According to the U.S. Small Business Administrator, startups and small businesses should plan to spend about 7% to 8% of their gross revenue on marketing and advertising. If profit is falling below $5 million annually, the U.S. Small Business Administration suggests bumping marketing spend up to 10% to 12% of gross revenue. However, setting a marketing budget involves more than calculating a percentage of your gross revenue. 

Your marketing budget should take into account all aspects of your business, including internal and external marketing, print and digital marketing, the launching of new products or services, customer service, client retention, and more! Writing down each key component of your marketing will help you see the full picture of your efforts and ensure you are not neglecting any key investments into your business’s marketing.

Reason 2 – Marketing Strategy

Have you heard of the ‘purple cow’ by Seth Godin, a famous American entrepreneur, marketer, author, and public speaker? Shortly, you want your business to be a “Purple Cow”, which means being unique and remarkable in a world of homogenous competitors. Without getting outside the box, you will always struggle to get noticed. The other element that is emphasized is that you need to milk the Purple Cow once it is “discovered”, and begin looking for the next one. Nothing remains remarkable forever – and innovation and transformation are keys to growth and success long-term. A great reminder that good isn’t good enough, that success must be followed by renewed innovation, and that remarkable eventually becomes ordinary as the bar rises and others copy. 

We say all this to not only emphasize the need for marketing, but for marketing strategy. Becoming a purple cow takes a strategy that includes researching your competitors on their past and current efforts, and using this information to further set yourself apart. This strategy will take a while to develop, and could include A/B testing, brand development, analyzing your customer journey, etc.

Reason 3 – Being Proactive Instead of Reactive

A strategic marketing plan helps you to identify new trends, avoid potential threats, and capitalize on future opportunities. Through brainstorming, innovation, and creativity your business will be able to discover and implement marketing in a proactive manner rather than being reactive and constantly having to pivot every time a change occurs.

Reason 4 – Creating Consistency 

A marketing plan also increases the consistency of your branding and messaging. When we help our clients with their marketing plans, we create campaigns surrounding business goals focused on reaching their target market through consistent messaging, branding, and look and feel. This helps your marketing better resonate with your customers, and hopefully keep your brand top of mind!

To find out more about how to create a marketing plan for your business, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our marketing specialists! 

Digital Marketing 101

Digital Marketing 101

Digital Marketing 101

Marketing is all about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. That means for your business that you need to meet your potential customers where they are already spending their time: online!

Say hello to digital marketing – marketing that exists online.

At Spotted Fox, a digital marketing company, we are passionate about being experts in all things digital marketing. With that, however, we get a lot of questions from business owners who are experts in their own fields who want to learn more about digital marketing, especially when it comes to their own business. So, we decided to provide this blog post as a resource. So let’s jump into it!

First off, lets set a good foundation for this discussion. We defined marketing at the beginning of this blog so what’s traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing is any type of marketing that isn’t online. This includes print like flyers and newspapers, radio, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising like posters and billboards.

So what is digital marketing?

Digital marketing includes all the marketing efforts that use the internet or an electronic device such as a cellphone or tablet. Businesses need to take advantage of digital media such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and potential customers.

Why digital marketing is important to your company?

With the increasing use of technology and the internet, digital marketing is vital for your business and brand awareness. More and more businesses are making their way online via websites and social media. Digital content and marketing are so common that consumers now expect and rely on it as a way to learn about brands. If you are seeing your competition online more than your own business, you’ll know its time to embrace digital marketing.

Because digital marketing has so many options and strategies, every business approaches digital marketing differently depending on its needs, budget, and resources. A huge plus with digital marketing is that you get to utilize tools like analytics to monitor the success of your marketing in real-time more than you could with traditional marketing!

Digital Marketing is Slowly Replacing Traditional Marketing

I still remember the days when newspapers were much more of a thing then they are now. We’d check the newspaper for job listings, sell items, and promote yard sales, businesses would buy ads, cartoon strips, and business highlights, etc. Now we utilize several different websites to accomplish these same things! I use this as just one example of how digital marketing is replacing traditional marketing. Business cards would also be much more prominent, and although still utilized and appreciated, we now tell people to find us on social media or visit our website to reach us!
Any form of traditional marketing that you can think of you can do in digital marketing and more! Direct mail is being replaced with email lists. Print receipts and now being texted or emailed, menus are now online, and instead of distributing flyers businesses and creating Facebook ads.

Types of Digital Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to “rank” higher on search engines like Google, increasing the amount of organic traffic a website receives.

Within SEO, there are a number of ways to approach SEO including:

  • On-page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the content that exists “on the page” when looking at a website. By researching keywords you can answer questions for readers and rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs) those questions produce.
  • Off-page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the activity that takes place “off the page” when looking to optimize your website such as backlinks. The number of other websites and blogs that link to you also affects how you rank for the corresponding keywords. By networking with other businesses, writing guest posts on their websites/blogs that link back to your website, and generating external attention, you can earn the backlinks you need to move your website up in rankings.
  • Technical SEO: This type of SEO focuses on the backend of your website, and how your pages are coded. Image optimization, inline and minimized CSS and Javascript, and more are all forms of technical SEO that can increase your website’s loading speed — an important ranking factor to search engines such as Google.
Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing involves promoting your brand and content on social media channels to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads for your business. The channels you can use in social media marketing include Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the creation and promotion of content for the purpose of generating brand awareness, traffic growth, lead generation, and customers. These include blog posts, ebooks, and infographics.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC is a method of driving traffic to your website by paying a Google or website every time your ad is clicked. One of the most common types of PPC is Google Ads, which allows you to pay for top slots on Google’s search engine results pages at a price “per click” of the links you place. Other channels where you can use PPC include: Paid ads on Facebook, Sponsored Messages on LinkedIn,
and Affiliate Marketing.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the software that serves to automate your basic marketing operations. Many marketing departments can automate repetitive tasks they would otherwise do manually, such as email newsletters, Social media post scheduling, drip campaigns, sales cycles, funnels, and Campaign tracking and reporting.

Video Marketing

Video is such a versatile and engaging format that connects with a huge audience and is also easy to share across multiple platforms. Consumers like it because it’s easy to digest, entertaining, and engaging, and marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels. There are plenty of different types of videos that are effective at content marketing such as explainers, interviews, product reviews, testimonials, and more!

Email Marketing

Businesses use email marketing as a way to communicate with their customers. Email is often used to educate, promote content, provide discounts, and announce events. The types of emails you might send in an email marketing campaign include blog subscription newsletters, follow-up emails to website visitors who downloaded something, customer welcome emails, holiday promotions, and tips and tricks!

If you have any questions about digital marketing feel free to reach out to us by giving us a call at  (509) 792-3283 or you are also welcome to email us at info@spottedfoxdigital.com.