The focus of this episode is sales and marketing in the fifth installment of our 10-Part Strategic Planning Intro series to our Cultivating Business Growth Podcast. Our goal in this episode is to give you an overview of what to focus on when it comes to creating your sales and marketing plan in a strategic setting.

 

What we cover in this episode: 

  • 1:55 – Introduction to Megan Spicer
  • 4:12 – How do you approach marketing from a strategic level?
  • 6:09 – Incorporating revenue and vision goals in your marketing plan
  • 13:30 – Establishing your target market and defining your client avatar
  • 22:25 – Measuring marketing goals
  • 29:00 – Avoiding pitfalls

We have created a free, client avatar worksheet that will help you define your ideal client and improve messaging to appeal and convert them.

FREE DOWNLOAD:

Client Avatar Worksheet

This free worksheet will help you define your ideal client. 

Walk through step-by-step to answer the questions you need to know to effectively advertise, speak to and work with your ideal clients. 

How do you approach marketing from a strategic level?

Just as we did with the budget in the last episode, the strategic marketing plan establishes your big picture plans, which you can use as a guide to devise your campaigns, which are more tactical in nature. Your strategic marketing plan focuses on business goals, marketplace and competition, defining your target audience, and the ways you will measure success. 

Again, mirroring the process for budgeting, you will break this down to a 12 month TACTICAL plan after establishing the strategic plan. 

Incorporating revenue and vision goals in your marketing plan

Your revenue goals that you established earlier in your strategic planning process are crucial because these will be used as a starting point for your sales and marketing strategy. If you are looking to increase revenue by $250,000 for the year, you can break that down to the number of products or services you will need to sell to achieve that goal. 

In order to achieve a higher revenue goal, we first need to consider offerings. What is the fee structure of your company and what are the options available to your clients? Do you sell a one-time product/service or are your clients on a maintenance schedule? That will change your approach. For example, if you own a web design firm, you may need to win business from 10 website design projects at $25,000 each to hit your revenue goals for the year. Alternatively, If you offer a maintenance service at $5,000 per month, you may need 4-5 new clients. 

Once you determine the product or service you will highlight, it’s time to look at sales conversion rates. If you know your conversion rates, you can back that up to determine how many people you need to get in front of to ultimately convert the clients you need to reach your revenue goals. The other number that is helpful to have during your strategic meeting is your cost of acquisition. This is the sales and marketing cost required to earn a new customer. You will be able to work this into your budget, covered in episode #4, once you’ve determined what you will need to reach your goals for the year.

When it comes to your vision, your marketing plan should support the overall vision for your company as well. What is important to your company in the long run? That question should be answered succinctly in your vision and give direction for your marketing plan and campaigns. Is education something that is important to your business? Maybe you want to incorporate free trainings into your marketing plan to support that higher vision. Taking the step to incorporate your vision throughout your strategy ensures that you will tactically act upon it throughout the year.

Establishing your target market and defining your client avatar

Your target market should be well-defined in your strategic marketing plan. To take that even further and more granular, a client avatar should be a part of your strategic plan. A client avatar can go by other names, client profile, buyer persona, etc. All of them essentially mean the same thing – a focused strategy that clearly defines your ideal client who finds the most value in what you do. During this exercise, you will create a fictional character who embodies your best client. All of the information used to create this fictional character is based on reality and hard facts. 

We have created a free worksheet to help you define your own client avatar. Download it by completing the form above.

You may determine that you want to niche and your clients are in a specific industry, geographical area, or age range. Niches can be beneficial because you have the opportunity to deeply understand your clients and personalize the message very specifically.

There are different ways to get the facts you need to develop your client avatar for your target market. You can conduct surveys, interview current clients, join Facebook or LinkedIn groups or forums and join the conversation to gather information. 

 

Measuring marketing goals

The goals you set should all be measurable. Without this component, you will have no way to gauge the success of your plan and no ways to improve. You must establish the ways you can measure your progress so when you begin implementing the plan, you can make corrections as needed and ensure you are moving the needle in the right direction. There is an acronym in the business world that can provide a nice guideline, called SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant 
  • Time-bound

 

Avoiding pitfalls

Remember, your strategic marketing plan is different than your tactics and campaigns. Establishing all of the high-level concepts will allow for focus when it comes time to implement the campaigns and tactics.

Allocate your resources correctly. It’s important to live in reality and base your goals and calculations off of either historical data, when available, or industry data.

Allow for flexibility. You will gain clarity and continually learn, giving you the ability to refine and improve your strategy. Be open to change and let your measurements dictate when a change is needed. 

 

Conclusion

Establish your strategic marketing plan so that you have high-level goals that align with the vision for your business, budget and other company goals. Specifically defining your revenue goals, sales goals, target market, and measurement criteria will give you a good start. 

The important thing to remember is that an educated estimate is better than nothing. Work through your strategy using the information you have now and you can always review and improve. This is simply to give you a starting point to help narrow your focus and launch your success. 

We are offering a free client avatar worksheet. Completing this worksheet will give your company a clear definition of your ideal client and help improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. 

 

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