Whether you’re a small business owner who has had substantial experience in the hospitality industry, or if you’re still starting and are still in the planning phase, you should understand the value of having a well-defined marketing plan. It outlines your entire marketing strategy for the coming month, quarter, or year. A well-thought-out marketing campaign starts with a marketing plan. Without one, you’re left to rely on luck and uncertainty, which can prove disastrous especially if you’re tight on the budget.
Your marketing plan should answer questions such as “Where and how exactly are you spending your marketing budget?” and “Is it being spent productively?”. It will help you to grow your business swiftly than you would without it.
What's in A Plan
There is no fixed template for a marketing plan but it should at least contain the following essential elements:
- your business’ marketing and advertising goals;
- your target markets and what are the different buyer’s persona in them;
- the current marketing situation within your business;
- the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics that you will be using;
- key action items; and
- a timeline for these next steps and who is responsible for carrying them out.
Combining all these, you can define a proper strategy to create a demand for your business’ products and services, eventually identifying your brand ahead of your competitors.
If you need to know more about how you can track your marketing campaigns, read up on it here.
Strengthening Your Plans
So now that you’ve started on your marketing plan, you may be keen on meeting with your team (or just yourself?) so you can discuss what marketing campaigns and initiatives you can plot out in the foreseeable future. But let’s reign it in a notch and make sure you’ve considered all factors before finalizing that plan and calling it a day.
Here are some points to consider so you can enhance your marketing plan:
- Marketing Your Brand. Is your brand truly identifiable? Be sure that your products and services are easily distinguishable from the competition. Even if they’re branded as yours, do you think your target market can easily differentiate them from other brands? When people look through your menu, are your products distinct from their description, how they look, and how they’re marketed? If not, best to allow some time to build on more creative ideas.
- Adapt to Your Target Market. Are your marketing campaigns effectively aimed at your target market? It may not be focused on your potential buyers but rather only on a more general population. Which specific audience do you intend to catch attention or which of them do you want to make a sale from? If you want to get the best results from your investments, then you should be targeting more specifically.
- Market Opportunities. It helps to have a clear definition of existing, as well as possible opportunities that you can capitalize on. Determine whether the current opportunities have been successful or if they even work at all. Otherwise, it may be best to switch to other viable programs. For example, consider if printing collaterals for store promos is still viable because of quarantine lockdowns. What’s advisable, and is on the more logical route, is to focus more on online efforts.
- Test Your Marketing Efforts. Find out which ones are delivering the results that you need, especially on your revenue. If you see any marketing strategies that don’t fit or are not efficient, learn to make quick adjustments. Keep testing which component works with what: is your SMS marketing to patrons giving you returns? Or does an FB post generate more awareness and better results?
Want to track all your marketing efforts regardless of its size? Find more about it here.
- Is Your Pricing Competitive? Always make it a point to check your competitors’ pricing scheme. Are you putting too high a premium on your products and services? It may be pushing your customers away towards fairer (or cheaper) prices offered by the other stores. Analyze if your pricing has better value or if you need (and can afford) to make adjustments.
Always remember to evaluate and compare your previous and even ongoing campaigns’ performance. In creating a marketing plan, you should have also considered past initiatives that succeeded or failed according to your KPIs and metrics. The basis for this comparison is to get to the root cause of that success or failure. This allows you to find out if certain efforts will fit in with your next plan. It may call on you to make adjustments in your strategy, targeting, or communications. The more resourceful the marketing plan, the more successful it’s bound to become.