Do Your Marketing Efforts Support Your Business Plan?

Kim Morrison
Kim Morrison
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If your marketing efforts don’t match your business plan, you’re going to run into trouble.

As you create your marketing plan, it’s important to refer to your business plan to ensure that you are living up to your vision, mission, goals and objectives.

Your business plan should include the overall strategy for your business. This includes all aspects from finances, markets, sales, products, services, operations and marketing. Your marketing plan takes the marketing portion a step further both online and offline. It outlines exactly your strategy to penetrate social media, content marketing, PR, newsletters, networking, pay-per-click marketing or whatever marketing you plan to engage in.

Both your business plan and marketing plan help you:

ESTABLISH YOUR IDENTITY AS A BUSINESS

In other words, they help create a cohesive brand across all channels. Ensure that your marketing matches the mission statement within your business plan, and you’ll stay in line with your business plan.

CONDUCT A SWOT ANALYSIS

When you create your business plan you’ll do a SWOT analysis. What this does is establish what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are for your business. These are quite simple to do and you can use this information in your marketing plan to address these issues.

PREDICT CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

Doing the work to create a complete business and marketing plan will identify potential customer behaviour in advance of your marketing plan. If you do your homework right, your marketing plan will work out as you predict.

UNDERSTAND YOUR CASH FLOW

Creating your business and marketing plan will help you understand your cash flow so that you can create a good marketing budget. Your cash flow is an important consideration when developing a marketing plan.

SET A REALISTIC MARKETING BUDGET

When you truly understand your business, the opportunities your business offers, and your market, you’ll be able to set a more realistic marketing budget that helps you reach your goals.

SET GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Based on your analysis and established budget, set goals and objectives for your marketing efforts based on the goals and objectives you set in your business plan. If you stated in your business plan that it would take five years to reach a certain dollar figure per year, is your marketing helping you reach that goal? If not, then you need to either adjust your objectives or increase your marketing efforts.

ESTABLISH YOUR STRATEGY

With the information you’ve gathered, narrow your focus to a specific target audience who needs, wants and desires what you have to offer. Ensure that your marketing efforts are directed to where your customers are. For example, if you want to grow your B2B products or services you should seriously consider using LinkedIn as one of the ways to reach your target audience.

MEASURE IF YOU’RE MEETING YOUR SET GOALS

The goals you set should be measurable and you should have a mechanism in place to test whether or not you’re meeting those goals. Be very specific when you set goals so that you can have a number in place that defines success for you.

REVIEW, RETHINK, REVISE

The good thing about testing and measuring is that you can change midstream and stop doing something that isn’t working at all, and do more of what is working. This is especially true when marketing online. That’s what’s so great about online marketing; you’re not trapped into a marketing plan that isn’t working.

That was the long answer to the question; Do your marketing efforts support your business plan? The short answer is that they need to. If they don’t, you need to rethink both your business plan and your marketing plan in order to ensure a successful result from both.

BREAKING NEWS

FACEBOOK

Facebook Expands Messenger Ads to All Advertisers Globally: After successful beta testing in Australia and Thailand, Facebook is gradually expanding display ads in Messenger to all advertisers around the globe. These ads will be shown in the Home tab of the Messenger mobile app and can be purchased in Ads Manager and Power Editor.

Facebook Tests Custom Audiences Based on Instagram Business Profiles: Adweek reports that “Facebook is testing the ability for brands to create custom audiences based on engagement with Instagram business profiles.” Although Facebook hasn’t officially announced this new product, a Facebook Help Center page confirms it’s a test and provides details on how to set up this type of custom audience.

Facebook Releases New Creative Tools and Overlays for Dynamic Ads: Facebook added the ability to include product-level videos and overlays to dynamic ads “to make them more captivating and informative.” According to Facebook, videos can be added to dynamic ads through the Facebook API or the asset manager. This update is expected to be available to advertisers “over the next couple months.”

Facebook Tests Addition of Page Descriptions on Cover Images: Facebook confirms that it’s testing the ability to quickly add a text overlay to cover images on select Facebook pages. Admins report that Facebook automatically pulls the cover image text from the page description but the message can be edited and may contain up to 100 characters. However, text font, color, size, and placement within the cover image can’t currently be customized.

Facebook Adds Option to Quickly Mute Desktop Notifications: Facebook made it simpler to mute desktop notifications with a new Mute button found within the top navigation on the Notifications tab. Users have the option to set parameters for how long they would like to mute their Facebook notifications or go into the settings to turn off their Facebook notifications completely.

TWITTER

Twitter Adds Muting Tool for Notifications: Twitter rolled out new tools to mute notifications from newly registered accounts and accounts you don’t follow or that don’t follow you. Twitter previously added anti-abuse measures such as the ability to silence certain users and filters for Direct Messages.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn Allows Users to Natively Upload Autoplay Videos and Provides Job Stats on Viewers: LinkedIn is testing a new feature with a “small number” of mobile app users in the U.S. that enables them to natively upload videos that automatically play with the sound off in the feed. In addition to providing typical stats on these videos such as views, likes, and shares, LinkedIn will also provide basic employment information about viewers such as “the companies where they work and their job titles.” LinkedIn plans to roll out the video-sharing feature for mobile and desktop to all users worldwide “in the coming months.”

LinkedIn Adds New Features to the Notification Tab: LinkedIn rolled out a number of improvements to the Notification tab on both desktop and mobile. These include a daily rundown of the top news and headlines of the day, weekly notifications on how many people have found you from a LinkedIn search, greater customizations, and more “coming soon.”

LinkedIn Tests New Feature Matching Users With Possible Mentors: LinkedIn is testing a new, free service for its members “that will match them with other professionals who can give them that much-needed career advice.”

LinkedIn Adds Profile Customisation: LinkedIn rolled out profile customization that allows “multi-taskers who simultaneously hold multiple current positions” to now reorder the Experience section of their LinkedIn profiles.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram Stories Replies Now Include Photos, Videos, and Boomerangs: Instagram now allows friends to respond to stories with photos, videos, and boomerangs of their own. Previously, users could only respond to stories with text. This new feature is available for both iOS and Android.

Instagram Cracks Down on Fake Influencers: The Next Web reports that Instagram is shutting down third-party sites and apps such as Instagress, InstaPlus, and PeerBoost for accepting money to generate fake likes and spammy comments. These paid services violate Instagram’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Use and are considered “disingenuous, vague and have no relation to the actual content.”

Instagram Uses AI to Manage Comments: Instagram introduced two new filters “to help keep Instagram a safe place for self-expression.” One filter will block “certain offensive comments on posts and in live video.” This tool is currently only available in English but Instagram promises to offer it in more languages “over time.” The second filter, which will roll out in nine languages, uses machine learning to reduce spam in the comments.

SNAPCHAT

Snapchat Adds Links, Voice Filters, and Backdrops to Snaps: A new paper clip icon found on Snapchat allows users to attach a website URL to a snap, a feature previously limited to ad campaigns and Discover content. Other users can then swipe up on the snap to open the link within Snapchat’s internal browser.