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What are the best modern marketing plans?

What Is a Marketing Plan? 

A marketing plan is an operational document that outlines an advertising strategy that an organization will implement to generate leads and reach its target market. A marketing plan details the outreach and PR campaigns to be undertaken over a period, including how the company will measure the effect of these initiatives. The functions and components of a marketing plan include the following:  Market research to support pricing decisions and new market entries Tailored messaging that targets certain demographics and geographic areas Platform selection for product and service promotion: digital, radio, Internet, trade magazines, and the mix of those platforms for each campaign Metrics that measure the results of marketing efforts and their reporting timelines

How to Create a Marketing Plan: The Strategy

I shall continue this article from where I had left in Part 1 of this series on creating a Marketing Plan. In the previous piece, I talked about how any business plan, or in this case the marketing plan, begins with a market analysis.

From the standpoint of developing a full-fledged marketing plan, we are currently at this point, as shown in the image below

What are the best modern marketing plans?

Creating a marketing strategy is not just about being creative or inventing new solutions. In fact, it’s a very structured work. You need to be sure that you know of what you are going to do step-by-step, and you should perfectly know each of these steps.


Let’s start with explaining some of the basic steps in creating your marketing strategy:


Set clear Marketing Objectives

In order to set clear marketing objectives, you need to ask yourself these questions:


What is the desired outcome of your marketing plan?


Do you have realistic objectives, targets, and a clear timeframe?


To be able to respond to those questions you need to know how to use marketing metrics to your advantage and to estimate the return on any investment that you will do in marketing.


Some of the Marketing Metrics are such as:


Total Market Share: This metric helps you to understand how many people in the will buy your products or services out of all the products and services in your industry (or competition). In other words, the analysis of a situation like, if we have 10 clients for product X and three companies producing it, how many clients will each company have.

Segments: If you did a good job when you did your research, the demographics will help you estimate how customers in the entire market are available for you.

Retention rate: This metric tracks the activities of your customers and measures in a given time how long they will continue to purchase your products and services.

Penetration rate: This measures the number of sales that you can get from the marketing total and also all the actions to increase it. The proportion of your potential market that completes the purchase.

The average size or the volume of purchases: This is very easy to understand as the name itself says, it is the economic value of the purchases in your market share.

Real Estate Marketing Plan Template & Strategy Guide

A real estate marketing plan is essential to marketing yourself effectively as a real estate professional. It involves identifying overarching and specific marketing goals, coming up with a budget, and fully understanding the ins and outs of your target audience, farm area, and the competition. With that, you can develop a unique selling proposition, establish a timeline, and implement your plan. Download our free real estate marketing plan template and use it to outline your own goals and strategies as you read this guide.

What are the best modern marketing plans?

Understanding Marketing Plans

The terms marketing plan and marketing strategy are often used interchangeably because a marketing plan is developed based on an overarching strategic framework. In some cases, the strategy and the plan may be incorporated into one document, particularly for smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. The plan outlines marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis while the marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.

How to Create a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan considers the value proposition of a business. The value proposition is the overall promise of value to be delivered to the customer and is a statement that appears front and center of the company website or any branding materials.


The value proposition should state how a product or brand solves the customer's problem, the benefits of the product or brand, and why the customer should buy from this company and not another. The marketing plan is based on this value proposition to the customer.

Determine your Marketing Strategy

Now it’s time to look at how you will best promote your product or service to your prospective customers.


Your marketing strategy should be revolving around the four Ps of marketing:


Product

Place

Price

Promotion

For that matter, for any marketing strategy to do well, all the 4Ps should be absolutely in coordination with each other and should be consistent.


And these four certainly are the defining 4 points of your entire marketing strategy. Every business has different requirements to do well and the 4Ps factors in all of that. Each P needs to be thought out carefully.


For example, don’t always assume you have to spend money on costly advertising. Say, if you have a niche audience, you can take advantage of low-cost marketing strategies such as e-mail, referral, and networking.


The bigger expenses are usually advertising, sales promotions and public relations campaigns. Digital marketing is a powerful strategy because it is inexpensive and effective in reaching target markets.

Free Real Estate Marketing Plan Template Download

. Identify Your Overall Objectives & Goals

A realtor marketing plan should be part of your overall real estate business plan and coincide with the strategies you intend to implement to create a successful business. Your business plan should include the following components:


Mission statement; e.g., “The mission of Fit Small Business is to deliver the best answers to people’s questions.”

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis

Specific and measurable goals for your real estate business

Metrics to measure or prove success

Marketing strategy and tactics

Lead generation and nurturing strategy

Income goal

Set times to measure progress, revisit, and adjust your plan

If you are new to the real estate industry, setting initial goals may be difficult because you have no past experience or data to refer to. With that said, you can still make estimates and set reasonable goals and expectations for yourself.


Ask a mentor or colleague for insight about their first year in real estate and the progress they made in closing deals, marketing, and generating leads. If they’re open to it, ask how much money they made versus what they anticipated earning. This will give you a general idea of how to plan your goals while being realistic to the industry standards for first-year real estate agents.


Do your research. Sites like Indeed.com show the average salary of various professionals, including the average salary of real estate agents in the U.S. Results are also shown relative to years of experience, and you can narrow your research by state if you create a free account. Likewise, realty-specific sites like NAR.com have extensive articles and data relative to real estate agent earnings.


A major component of your overall business plan objectives and goals is your income goal. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a first-year real estate agent is about $88,000, but this number varies based on state, location within the state, and median home prices in the area.


The good news for first-year realtors, according to a McKissock study, is that your income is likely to double the second year. Whatever your overall income goal is, it ties directly into your real estate agent marketing plan because, without income, you will not be able to afford business and marketing expenses.


If you’ve been in the industry for several years, you should have data and experience to help while calculating your goals for the upcoming year. Review your previous year’s goals to understand which strategies were successful, the goals that you achieved, and the goals to adjust for the upcoming year. By understanding your overall business goals and what you’d like to achieve in the upcoming year, you’ll be able to mold your marketing plan to harmonize with your overarching plans.

2. Pinpoint General Marketing Goals

Now that you’ve set your overall business goals, including income, it’s time to identify general marketing goals for your real estate business. These are meant to be an overview so you can put into writing what your specific goals are and how to achieve them.

You should plan to implement a combination of mediums and tactics to get as much exposure for your business as possible. However, it’s wise to split these goals by marketing tactics and channels used, like print materials, online ads, email, and so on, so that you can be very specific with your goals and metrics.


Here are some of the real estate marketing mediums to include as you set your marketing goals:


Website and landing pages

Email marketing

SMS and text message marketing

Real estate ads

Social media marketing

Real estate events

Print marketing materials

Real estate signs

3. Estimate Projected Marketing Budget

Most agents spend about 10% of their net income on marketing efforts. New agents who have not completed any deals yet may only be devoting $1,000—or even less—to marketing strategies. As you become more experienced and begin to make more money in real estate, you can increase your marketing budget accordingly.

4. Know Your Geographic Farm Area Data & Identify Your Target Audience

A geographic farm area is the ZIP code, town, or city where you will focus the majority of your marketing efforts. For your marketing plan to be effective, you need to use geographic and demographic data to guide your marketing strategies and speak to your area of expertise. By understanding the basic makeup of your market, you will be better able to speak to your core audience through your marketing materials and convert them more effectively.

5. Analyze Market Competition

It is very unlikely that you will be the only real estate agent working your farm area. Analyze your competition to understand the strengths and weaknesses of other brokerages and individual agents in your specific location. Looking at how your competition markets within your farm area will give you an indication of where to channel your efforts.


Take a drive or bike ride around your target location and make note of the real estate marketing efforts you see in the area. Do some research to identify who is sponsoring events and advertising in local stores and restaurants. Once you have a general idea, take your research to the computer to do some deeper digging, such as real estate agents sending traffic to dedicated landing pages representative of your farm area or who are using social media ads and content to reach them.

6. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition

After you’ve researched the geographic and demographic landscape and analyzed your competition, you should have a solid perspective on what gaps you can fill in the marketplace and by what means. Identify your unique selling proposition by taking advantage of what you have learned and bringing something unique to the marketplace.

7. Establish Timeline & Set Your Plan in Motion

Now that you have all the components to roll out an effective real estate marketing plan, you need to implement your strategies. Solid organization and consistency are key, even when implementing the best real estate marketing strategies. Following a marketing calendar can keep you on track to meet your goals.

8. Track Your Progress & Readjust as Needed

Your real estate marketing plan is not a set-it-and-forget-it exercise; it should be a living document that continues to be adjusted over time. Reassess your plan at least once a quarter to track progress and make adjustments as needed. As the year goes by, if you feel that your goals are a bit too lofty, or not lofty enough, feel free to adapt and rearrange to fit your real estate business.

How to Execute a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan can be adjusted at any point based on the results from the metrics. If digital ads are performing better than expected, for example, the budget for a campaign can be adjusted to fund a higher performing platform or the company can initiate a new budget. The challenge for marketing leaders is to ensure that every platform has sufficient time to show results.

Marketing Plan vs. Business Plan

A business plan details how a business will operate and function in its entirety. A business plan is a roadmap for a business. It will cover the goals, missions, values, financials, and strategies that the business will use in day-to-day operations and in the achievement of its objectives.


A business plan will include an executive summary, the products and services sold, a marketing analysis, a marketing strategy, financial planning, and a budget, to name but a few items.


As mentioned, a business plan will include a marketing plan, which focuses on creating a marketing strategy on how to bring awareness to the public of the company's product or service, how to reach the target market, and generate sales.

What Is a Marketing Plan Template?

A marketing plan template is a document that an individual can use to create a marketing plan. The marketing plan template will contain all the important elements and the various needed language with blank sections. A user can insert their own information related to their business in the blank sections to ultimately create their own marketing plan.


What Is an Executive Summary in a Marketing Plan?

The executive summary in a marketing plan provides a brief overview of the entire marketing plan. The executive summary will contain the key findings of the market research, the company's objectives, marketing goals, an overview of the marketing trends, the description of the product or service being marketed, information on the target market, and how to financially plan for the marketing plan.


What Is a Top-Down Marketing Strategy?

A top-down marketing strategy is a traditional marketing strategy. This is where a business determines who it should sell to and how, and the customer base is largely passive and spurred to take action once they hear the advertisement. For example, a top-down marketing strategy would include ads on radio or television. Top-down marketing strategies are usually determined by the executives of a firm. It usually consists of what a firm desires to do and then determining a way to do it.


What Is a Bottom-Up Marketing Strategy?

A bottom-up marketing strategy focuses on discovering a workable strategy and then building on that strategy to create an impactful advertising campaign. Today's consumer wants to relate to a product or service in a meaningful way and a bottom-up marketing strategy is better suited to this. A bottom-up marketing strategy should focus on the target market and how better to create value for them.


How Much Does a Marketing Plan Cost?

The cost of a marketing plan will vary based on the company, the complexity, and the length of the overall strategy. The cost can range anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000.

Create your Financial Plan

A Marketing Plan without financials has no way out. Try to create a budget and sales forecast, keep it very simple and easy to understand but very efficient.


Ask yourself:


How much do you expect to sell?

What will it cost to produce your products or deliver services?

What will be your basic operating expenses? Be sure to include recruitment costs and salaries here

What will you be charging?

How much financing will you need to run your business?

These questions will help you determine your projected income and expenses, which are also vital. A break-even analysis is another important step when you are developing your marketing plan.


This will help you understand just how much you need to sell in order to cover your costs of operating your business.


Overall, you can determine your projected income and expenses.


Now, let’s go into what all needs to be covered in a Marketing Plan. I will give you some homework where you will find an easy marketing plan step-by-step. Can you apply it to your idea or a product/ services that you have already in use?


Marketing Plan Follow-Through Guide 

Executive Summary – Short summary of main goals and recommendations so that leadership/management team can get a quick idea of the key points.

Current Situation (or a 5C Analysis) – Overview of the market

Market description – What is the market? Who is the market? What are the trends?

Environment – What is happening at a macro level and a micro level? What is the potential impact to the business?

Competitive review – Discuss both direct and indirect competitors. Include a SWOT of main competitors along with their market position, sales, pricing, distribution, marketing strategy and marketing programs.

Channel and logistics review – Include sales team, partners, e-commerce, referrals and delivery systems.

Product review – Include information about your offerings, sales, gross margin and stage of the product lifecycle.

SWOT – Perform an assessment of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Objectives and Issues – In a given period of time (the one that the plan covers) Select the objectives and goals that your marketing must reach and spot any possible issues.

Marketing Strategy – This is how your company plans to engage customers, deliver value, create strong relationships and attain the business and marketing objectives.

Positioning – What makes you distinctive in the mind of a customer? Would your customer agree?

Value proposition – Why would someone buy from you vs. a competitor?

Product Strategy – What is the roadmap (or future plan) for the product?

Pricing – What is the pricing strategy (e.g. economy, luxury) and should it be revised?

Distribution – What channels are used to move the product through the supply chain? Are there improvements or new channel opportunities?

Marketing Communication Strategy

Lead generation/Sales – Identify the programs that will be used to generate sales and/or leads for sales teams.

PR – How will you share news, get mentions and build credibility?

Online and Offline – What types of programs, tools, and resources do you need to reach objectives? This can include advertising, content, and sponsorships.

Mobile – This should be part of any communications strategy. It is called out here because it is such an important communication channel.

Events – What trade shows, conferences, and other events will contribute to reaching the objectives?

Market Research – This is important, as ongoing research to understand your customers and market is critical. This will help you monitor and be aware of the perception (what is being said) about you the in the market.

Action programs – The details to turn the strategies into a calendar of programs.

Financials / Budget – The costs of all related programs including anticipated sales, revenue and costs of all marketing related activities.

Controls – The KPIs you will use to measure results.

This article discussed in detail about marketing strategy and how to formulate a marketing plan. You must note that all the parts of marketing plan together make the complete layout of how are you going to do marketing in your business.


The subsequent articles in this series will discuss a few other important aspects of a marketing plan.

The Bottom Line

A marketing plan is the advertising strategy that a business will implement to sell its product or service. The marketing plan will help determine who the target market is, how best to reach them, at what price point the product or service should be sold, and how the company will measure its efforts.


Constantly monitoring and adjusting a market plan is an important part of running a business as it shows what are the best and worst ways to generate sales. Without a successful marketing plan, a business may not be able to continue operating for very long.

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