Ask any marketing professional for advice and they will say that you need a Marketing Plan written for your business, yet 50% of professional service SME’s do not have one in place*.
Having a proficient marketing plan is especially important for businesses within the professional service sector. Marketing a firm is no longer about doing some networking or sponsorship, clients want value and reassurance.
Firms require a solid 360 marketing plan that refines goals and develops tactics that are targeted and manageable and ultimately acts as a ‘Bible’ with regards to what activity to do, when, how and why in order to support your practices growth goals and targets.
A good Marketing Plan should be a detailed account of your whole business that covers off all of the possible marketing mix. From the business background and finances to target market, USP and communications strategy, and everything in between.
Professional services need to be actively marketing their practice in order to demonstrate knowledge, safe pair of hands, brand personality and their differentiation as well as their services, staff and results.
In order to create a useful, practical and results-based Marketing Plan you need to:
1. Prepare Your Marketing Plan
Start by setting out your business in detail, from the business background to the products and services you supply. Run through all the touch points with a short paragraph covering off:
- Target Market
- Pricing & Positioning
- Communications Strategy
- Conversion Strategy
This forms the Executive Summery that gives any reader a short, sharp overview and history to date of the business.
Start to drill down on specifics and focus on where you want your business to go. What are your business objectives? Set out short, medium and long term goals to achieve. Who is your target market(s) in detail – bring them to life, create avatars. What does your dream client look like and what is your Unique Selling Point – why does your client chose you over your competitors?
3. Get Set, Review
List out all of the on and offline activity you currently have running and you have done in the past. List results, from sales and new business pipeline to no. of Social Media followers, no. of reviews etc. to get a feeling for where you see the most interactions and new business come from. Use this information to help shape the creative ideas and strategic planning areas for future content planning.
4. Go Deep & Think Hard
Now it is time to list out all of the areas of the marketing mix that your business could use. Make sure that they are suitable areas that touch your target market. There’s no point starting a TikTok account if your target market isn’t there. Think about all of the opportunities to sell:
- Distribution Plan
- Conversion Strategy
- Referral Strategy
- Upsell Strategy etc.
How can you use your network to get recommendations? Use your past clients for case studies, 3rd parties for linked campaigns, offers and discounts or loyalty campaigns.
5. Money Matters
The most important part of the Marketing Plan are the KPIs, or as near to this as you can get. How much is your marketing costing you and how much revenue is it generating? The Financial Projections section is at the end of the plan and should be updated as and when data permits. Going forward this section should shape the investment for the following years plan.
And in Summary
Every marketing plan needs to be regularly reviewed and updated. Results of campaigns need to be recorded and objectives updated as they are achieved. On average a monthly marketing review for the forthcoming months should be held with a quarterly strategic marketing plan review. Only then can you really see the results of the plan and start to accurately plan for the future.
At The Marketing Associate we specialise in strategic freelance marketing support for professional service practices. Providing excellent quality advice on your marketing strategy to develop and grow your business.
If you would like to discuss your business’s marketing requirements with an outsourced marketing consultant, then please do not hesitate to contact Tabitha Beasley at The Marketing Associates: Tabitha@themarketingassociates.co.uk or call 01233 720379