It is relatively easy to create marketing plan, just pick the market & product focus, set up objectives and run the campaign. However, if you are willing to add a little more effort and learn, you will be able to create a dynamic marketing plan to help improve your brand. For this article’s purpose, I’d like to use example of my designer bag brand Mirsky Mode as it is easier to follow.
Study the Market
Define your target market as accurate possible. Go beyond the typical ‘age, gender and location’ and have a go at other distribution and demographics such as ‘interests, affordability, trends etc’. You can find these using Google Trends too!
Just keep in mind to make a realistic judgement and not to please everyone. Otherwise, you will just end up straining yourself attempting to build strategies that contends with everyone’s needs – impossible. Focus on the majority.
Devise your plan by listing it out accordingly to priorities. You can even lay it out in chart form for better visualization. It all comes down to your judgement based on data gathered at this point. Pursue the ‘what drives people to buy’ relentlessly in your marketing plan.
Also, be realistic. Even you have identified countless factors, you should not contend with all of them. Select the strong factors only and focus building strategies based on that. Do not overdo it or you will risk losing market focus on things matter the most.
Focus on Your Product
Use the data gathered above and correlate with your product, make it the focus of your marketing campaigns. For example, Mirsky Mode found that affordability is a popular reference from the market focus analysis, which suits well as bags offered at the company is within the financial reach of the targeted market. We made good use of this info in our marketing & PR campaigns which ‘bore fruit’.
Also, be concise and provide as much information you can on all your selling platforms. Describe how your product benefits the market. The company I run also offer designer bags for rent which means expensive handbags are no longer out of reach of middle-class consumers. We offer low rent and in return, customers get to carry around those classy bags without emptying their bank savings.
Specific Marketing Objectives
Strategies are the heart of every marketing plan. Personally, I often start with long-term marketing plans within the 3-5 years period. Questions such as “Where do I see myself in the next 3 or 5 years from now? Online Presence? Brand Awareness? Recognition? Networth?” should be stated here.
Follow it up with short-term marketing plans whereby your annual sales performance, online traffic, email & social media platforms subscription etc should be included here.
Be precise in all the marketing objectives and avoid having vague goals such as “low price and authentic handbags” – it is inconclusive! Add more details and make your marketing goals quantifiable like “20000 online traffics to website” or “1000 email subscriptions”. You’ll be able to work yourself towards these goals clearly and also help you to determine your return on investment.
Delegate work tasks individually rather than assigning it to groups. Like your marketing plan, it is crucial that every team member is given specific tasks to drive the strategies devised. They will become more focus on the tasks given and works hard on it knowing the marketing plan could fail if he or she does not do the job right. Eventually, your team becomes more responsible rather than slacking in groups letting someone else carrying the burden.
Let the team know they are accountable if they failed the tasks given to them individually. This may somewhat sounds like micro-managing, but if the point being made is put properly, and they made to understand the consequences for failing to do the tasks successfully, your team becomes more committed in accomplishing the goals.
It is always wise to take a step back and view your marketing plan from a different angle from time to time. This helps ensure your plan is currently updated according to trends.
For fashion handbags, retail prices change regularly mainly due to festival seasons. Therefore, our plan has to continuously readjust to suit our market focus or risk facing drop in sales performance to competitors who are price sensitive.
Another example would be when bucket bags or rucksacks started to become trendy in Malaysia in the first-quarter of 2016, which was recently. Our initial marketing plan had no data on bucket bags at all which forced us to have our purchasing team to import them immediately in order to be relevant in the retail stream. We were lucky enough to be able to bring the bags to our market; but were unfortunate we did not revise our marketing plan regularly to spot the trend sooner.
Learn from this mistake, get your marketing team sit down more frequently to discuss on your marketing plan. Make changes if necessary and always be wary of trends, especially if you are in the fast-paced fashion industry.
Final Two Cent
Creating marketing plan can be difficult when you first start out. You are new in the industry and barely understands consumer behavior. This is expected. Pay attention to details whenever you revise the plan with your marketing team. This is the part you will learn new things, I know I did – and it paid off paying full attention during meetings with the marketing team. Final note, stop trying to take everyone into account in the audience – stop trying to please everyone. Just reach out to the majority of which you are reaching out to. Extend your reach only when you have the financial capability from the revenue.