How to Create a Marketing Plan to Grow Your Business

Every entrepreneur dreams of scaling their business to new heights. But how do you translate that dream and create a digital marketing plan to grow and get your marketing team and company to achieve your goals? Using a relatable example, we'll show you how to write an effective marketing plan and guide to growth marketing.

The $10 Million Dream: Begin with a clear goal, like reaching a specific monthly revenue target.

Startup Marketing

Background - the 10M Company

What does it take to build a $10 million business, say, the 10M Company?

Let's break it down. A $10 million business generates an average of $833,000 monthly revenue.

  • 10M Company provides Consulting and Coaching Services.

  • Its average client brings $7,500/month. That means we need 111 clients to clear $833,000 monthly.

  • Because this is a highly competitive industry, 10M Company loses about 4% of its business every month from clients going out of business, changing their goals, or just wanting something else, so they move on. (An insane business model, but also not totally uncommon.)

⇒   That means we must close five new deals a month just to keep our existing business.

  • 10M Company closes 40% of its qualified leads. (great closing!)

⇒   So, we need about 13 qualified leads a month to close six deals.

Understanding Your Business and Market

Looking at the above numbers, how are yours different? Do you know your numbers?

To write a marketing plan that will effectively scale your business, it is crucial to understand your business and the market you operate in. This involves thoroughly analyzing your industry, competitors, target audience, and existing numbers, e.g., how many transactions you (want to) have, transaction values, conversion rates, and attrition.

By deeply understanding your business and market trends, you can identify opportunities and challenges that will influence your marketing strategies and impact your numbers. Do you have a product problem, a revenue challenge, or an attrition problem?

Hint: you can improve in all areas.

Additionally, it is vital to assess your business's unique selling proposition (USP) and value proposition. What sets your business apart from competitors? What value do you offer to customers? Understanding your USP and value proposition will help you position your business effectively in the market and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Furthermore, conducting market research and gathering customer insights will provide valuable information about your target audience's needs, preferences, and purchasing behavior. This information will guide your marketing efforts and help you tailor your messaging and offerings to resonate with your target audience.

By thoroughly understanding your business and market, you can lay a solid foundation for developing a marketing plan to drive business growth and scalability.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

Setting clear goals and objectives is crucial in creating a marketing plan to scale your business. Without clear goals, it is challenging to measure the success of your marketing efforts and make informed decisions.

Creating your marketing plan starts with defining your overall business objectives. What do you want to achieve by scaling your business? Is it increasing revenue, expanding into new markets, or launching new products or services? Once you have defined your business objectives, you can set marketing goals that align with these objectives.

When setting marketing goals, ensure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, i.e., SMART goals:

For example, if your business, the 10M company, 

    • aims to increase revenue by $2M to $12M in 14 months and

      • if customer and lead generation was spread evenly and

      • if there was a 2-month sales cycle from qualified lead to customer and

      • if there was a linear growth rate and the same 4% attrition as above,

    • you would need to

      • generate 48 new deals and $360,000 incremental revenue (MRR) in month 14 and

      • require about 100 qualified leads in month 12.

    • With your $833k MRR existing business, you'd be at a $14.32M ARR run rate.

Having clear goals and objectives will guide the development of your marketing strategies and tactics and provide a benchmark for measuring the success of your marketing efforts.

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Identifying Target Audience, ICP, Buyer Personas, and SWOT

Identify and research your target audience.

To scale your business effectively, you must identify your target audience, i.e., your ideal customer profile and buyer personas. Your target audience consists of the individuals or businesses most likely to be interested in your products or services. By understanding their demographics, interests, pain points, and buying behavior, you can tailor successful marketing messages to resonate with them.

Creating buyer personas involves developing fictional representations of your ideal customers. These personas are based on research and insights gathered from your target audience. 

Once you have identified your target audience and buyer personas, you can craft personalized marketing messages and select the most effective marketing channels to reach and engage with them. This targeted approach will maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing efforts, ultimately driving business growth.

Do you understand YOUR buyer personas? Check with our worksheet!

Document our SWOT plan.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It's a widely used strategic planning tool that helps you analyze your internal capabilities (strengths & weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities & threats) impacting your business.

  • Strengths are positive attributes that give you an edge, like a strong brand reputation, innovative products, or a skilled team. Weaknesses are internal limitations that hinder your progress, such as a limited marketing budget, lack of technical expertise, or inefficient processes.

  • Opportunities are promising external factors you can leverage, like emerging market trends, changing customer preferences, or new partnerships. Threats are external challenges that pose risks, such as increased competition, regulatory changes, or economic downturns.

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Developing Strategies and Tactics

Developing effective marketing strategies and tactics is a critical component of a marketing plan to scale your business. With the target audience and SWOT identified, you are well-equipped to develop the required strategies, channels, and approaches for your plan:

1. Situational Awareness: A SWOT analysis provides a clear picture of your company's position in the market, uncovering potential advantages and vulnerabilities. This awareness helps you set realistic goals and allocate resources effectively.

2. Targeted Strategies: By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you can craft marketing strategies that capitalize on your advantages and address your limitations.

3. Proactive Approach: Identifying opportunities empowers you to seize advantageous market trends and stay ahead. Similarly, anticipating threats allows you to develop contingency plans and mitigate potential risks.

4. Informed Decision-Making: SWOT analysis provides a framework for evaluating different marketing options and choosing the ones best aligned with your overall business goals and resource constraints.

5. Continuous Improvement: Regularly conducting SWOT analyses allows you to track your progress, identify areas for improvement, and adapt your marketing strategies to respond to dynamic market conditions.

Start by identifying the marketing channels and platforms most suitable for reaching your target audience. This could include digital channels such as social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and paid advertising. Selecting channels that align with your target audience's preferences and behavior is crucial. You might need to consider funding to upgrade your website or marketing automation and optimize your conversion paths

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Next, outline your specific marketing strategies to achieve your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, your strategy could involve creating engaging content, leveraging social media influencers, and running targeted ad campaigns. Each strategy should be tailored to your target audience and aligned with your business objectives.

Once you have defined your strategies, develop tactical plans that outline the specific actions and initiatives required to implement each strategy. This could include creating a content calendar, setting up social media profiles, optimizing your website for SEO, and designing eye-catching advertisements.

Regularly review and adjust your strategies and tactics based on the performance data and feedback you receive. This iterative approach will help optimize your marketing efforts and drive continuous improvement.

Measuring and Adjusting Your Marketing Plan

Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing plan is essential to ensure you are on track to scale your business. By analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics, you can assess the success of your marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions.

Start by identifying the KPIs that align with your marketing goals. These could include website traffic, conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, lifetime value, and return on investment (ROI). Establish a system for tracking and analyzing these metrics regularly.

Adjust your marketing plan as needed based on the insights gained from analyzing the data. This could involve reallocating the budget to high-performing channels, refining your messaging based on customer feedback, or experimenting with new strategies and tactics.

Remember that marketing is an ongoing process, and it is vital to continuously monitor and optimize your marketing efforts to ensure they drive business growth and scalability.

What's the best strategy for you? Learn more about Smart Marketing!

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My dad taught me to dream big and to work my butt off to make those dreams a reality. Building stuff and helping people succeed is what we are about. And if things don't work the first time, we try again differently. Growing bigger is one thing; growing better is what we aim for.

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