Where to start writing a marketing plan

Where to start writing a marketing plan Strath Communications

How do you go about writing a marketing plan when you don’t know where to start.  Why do you need a marketing plan?  I’ve never needed a plan before so why now?

A marketing plan is a strategic plan to grow your business and talk to your customers.  Ultimately, it is to enable you to sell more products or services and make sure that these are put in front of your customers at the right time and in the right place.

A marketing plan will include who your target market is and the planned activity and budget on how you’re going to reach them.    Including your budget in the plan will ensure that you spend consistently on marketing and that ultimately meet your business objectives which in turn will lead to a profitable business.

So how do you start?

Review what you do now with your marketing and where you want to go with your business.  What are your business objectives for the year ahead? What are your target markets and where will you reach them?  From this you can create a plan and content to reach them and what budget you will need.

With a plan in place it makes it much easier to be reactive if an opportunity comes along or you have to change direction in your business due to outside market pressures.

Having a plan in place means that you can measure how successful it is too.  Have the marketing plan delivered the required number of leads/sales.  Has it increased web traffic or social media reach?

What do you need?

The best way is to start with a calendar and mark out all your product launches, events and key dates throughout the year that you already know about.  Are there any key target markets you are going after and what level of resources will you have to target them.

How?

You will then be able to target the right channels to reach your customers and work on the right messages to get them to buy your products and services, as ultimately that’s why you’re in business, is to make a profit and solve your customers problems.

What next?

Make sure that you implement your plan consistently as this is what will generate results and measure these results.

Review

Make sure you take time to review your plan on a regular basis as it may need amended as your business develops and you start to generate results.  With more success you may want to invest more into marketing and product development.

We’d be happy to talk to you about how to implement the above and where you should start.  Just call us today on 07738 966588.

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Or download our 5 simple tips to create a marketing plan and I’ll take you through it step by step.

More about me

More about me - Jennifer Macdonald-Nethercott

An about us page can only tell you so much about the business or person you’re about to work with. So, I’ve created this blog which has more about me and my experience.

I went to Glasgow Caledonian University in the mid 90’s to study Leisure Management.  At this time, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but it gave me the opportunity to live in a city I love and work in the USA for 6 months.

During this time, I spent it working in the hospitality and tourism industry, eventually deciding in 2006 that I wanted a 9-5 job and my weekends back!  However, I did do a variety of jobs from life guard to ski instructor and event organisation, it was never a dull time and taught me the importance of customer service.  The customer may always be right as they have generally worked hard and paid a lot of money to enjoy their leisure time, so yes, they do want more in return.  And now in our world of instant gratification this has become more important if you are in the service industry.

I then moved into a marketing role within the automotive industry.  Again, very customer focused but also tied to meeting sales targets every quarter.  The planning was in quarterly cycles with two spikes every year around new car registrations.  It did mean we were reactive rather than entirely planned however it meant I had to be creative fast.

During this time the advent of social media arrived, and online marketing was being pushed as a skill on its own.  It certainly meant I could talk to our customers in a way that gets instant response and creates conversations.  Now in 2019 we’ve become used to getting a response from business almost instantly. However, your business now needs to ensure its tone of voice and branding runs through all communications channels too.

After nearly 10 years in the automotive industry I took a marketing manager’s role in the world of food and drink and worked with FMCG brands.  Being the brand guardian meant I had more flexibility with campaigns and talking direct to customers.  It also led to working in a variety of export markets and dealing with Highlands and Islands Enterprise who supported the business.

From this role it gave me the marketing knowledge and ambition to set up my own business.  I have a very clear outline of who I want to work with – entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their business and get in front of more customers more often.  They’ll be working in their own business but needing to outsource key roles so that they can get back to building and developing their business.

If this is you.  Give me a call today about how I can create and implement your marketing strategy and plan so you can continue to develop and grow your business.

I am based in Grantown on Spey, near Aviemore and work throughout Inverness, the Highlands, Moray and Elgin.

 

Your content strategy for next year

Your content strategy - Strath Communications

Why do you need one? Well, this is why I invest time into training so that you can spend more time on your business!   Seriously, you need to have a plan so that you don’t miss out on your launches throughout the year or any key dates that you can sell around.

As a round up I’ve spent time at Content Live 2018 learning all about content strategy, planning , content creation, re-purposing content and how to get more eyes on your content in 2019.Jennifer Macdonald-Nethercott

I really love the planning side and have created a document to plan your content in 2019 so that this meets your business objectives to deliver more customers and increased sales.

I’m also going to be looking at creating more video with customers and how they can be going about this too.  Video in 2019 will gain more exposure from the likes of Facebook and be pushed in their feed to your followers, so makes sense to look at this now.  All you need is an intro, middle and an outro.  Or at least this is what Dan said at the event!

I’ve also now created a rather fabulous spreadsheet that has all the different ways to re-purpose content on it.  Plu,s the different platforms and how to get more eyes on the content we are creating.

It is all about the planning and then maximising each piece of content that we produce to ensure that it can be consumed in different formats for different audiences.  Also, look at creating evergreen content that can be used again and again.

We also spent time at the event working out our ‘entrepreneurial superpower’ with Osmaan Sharif.  I loved learning about the type of profile I am and the types of profiles I should bring together to work with me to deliver client projects.  If you’ve never done this before it is really enlightening to find out how you like to work and how you should adapt to work with other people. FYI I’m a deal maker and love networking, collaborations/partnerships, nurturing relationships and results through interactions.

One thing I won’t be starting in 2019 is a podcast.  It’s looks fun and can drive results so don’t rule this out for your business.  It’s just not for me at this time!

So did I achieve my objectives from attending the event– yes I did, content planned, outline plans coming together for clients, my reach and connections increased on LinkedIn and Twitter plus CPD hours logged with the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

What next?  Start implementing the plan for 2019 and batch produce content, so that if something comes up I have content ready for you.

Let’s make 2019 one where we have our business objectives aligned to our marketing strategy and plan and get that plan put into action to bring us more customers.

Want me to help you bring more customers to your business next year?  Just complete the form below and I’ll come right back to you.

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Why do I need a marketing plan.

 

What are my objectives for attending Content Live 2018?

Well, in the words of the event hashtag #2019sorted.  So, yes I’m attending this event to learn, be inspired and come away with my content for 2019 planned.  Not just for me but for my clients too.

With an amazing line up of speakers who all have their content nailed, I’m looking to gain some valuable CPD hours learning about how to make my content more relevant to my audience and get some ideas about the different ways of sharing this content too.

With Day 1 of the event being all about inspiration, I’ll have the chance to question every speaker and hear about how to create content that attracts leads and sales.

Day 2 is the implementation part of the event, where I’ll be getting stuck into the content planning for 2019.

So, my objectives are:

  • Connect with at least 20 new contacts at the event
  • Have my content planned for the first half of 2019
  • Have outline content planned for my clients
  • Increased my reach on Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Shared the event on Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Write a follow up blog about the event
  • Use the hours for my CPD to retain Chartered Marketer status in 2019

There, I’ve shared my objectives with you and would love to be held accountable to them.

I’ll also share my key takeaways from the event and let you know which speaker I felt had the greatest impact on me and my personal development.

I’m investing a lot of time and money in this event, which includes a 3 night trip to London. However having attended the event in 2017 I know that I’ll learn so much about content, planning and what’s new that it’s worth it.  I also love meeting other business owners and hearing how their year is going and the challenges they’re facing too.

Find out more about why I invest in CPD here.

How will we work together to create your marketing strategy?

How will we work together blog image Strath Comms

Now that you’ve decided to work with a marketing consultancy, how will it work? We know that you have questions, so we’ll answer some of the key ones here.  If we don’t cover them all send us a quick email and we’ll come right back to you.

Who is your main contact?

When you work with Strath Communications our founder, Jennifer Macdonald-Nethercott will be your main contact.  She’ll work closely with you to scope out what you need us to deliver for you and by when and she’ll project manage this for you.

What information do we need from you?

This can depend on what work we’ve agreed to do with you, from full marketing strategy development where we would need to know your business plan and objectives and have access to your analytics and current marketing activity.  If you’ve asked us to look after your social media, we’ll need full access to these accounts and agree a marketing budget for them.

How much time will you need to spend with us?

Initially we would have a meeting ideally face to face, otherwise over Skype and would suggest a couple of hours for this.  After this initially meeting an agreeing the scope of the work we would keep in touch with you by email and phone and would agree how much of your time we’d need. However, the reason you’ve brought us on board is so that we can free up your time to spend working on your business while we take care of your marketing.

How do you want to be communicated with and how often?

This is all down to what suites you and your business’s needs, be it by email, phone, WhatsApp or Skype.  We’re happy to use the channel that suites you and your business.

We will also provide you with a monthly report with what we’ve completed, highlight successes and what is planned for the month ahead.  You will also have a marketing plan that we’ll have created and as this is a live document we’ll share it regularly with you.  We will also share action points and wins as they arise too.

We believe that the key to successfully communicating your story to reach your customers is by communicating regularly with you too.

Want to find out more?  Contact me today.

Why should I hire a marketing consultancy

Why do I need a marketing plan?

7 ways to create your marketing plan

Why you should invest in Continuous Professional Development?

Personal development blog Strath Communications

This year I am not only building a new business, Strath Communications, but I am also making sure that my CPD is ongoing too.

So what I am doing to make sure that I am developing myself, my business and ultimately being able to share all this learning with my clients?

As a Chartered Marketer I commit to learning every year as a matter of course but this year I am looking to expand my learning to leadership and other business skills to.

Leadership Development Programme with the Institute of Directors

I started this course in May and it involves developing the strategy for my business, Strath Communications and the ‘why’ around what my business is all about.  The first session on strategy has opened my eyes to the fact that a strategy statement should be only a few sentences, so that the business can remain agile as you may have a few different strategies for internal and external parts of your business and ultimately if the business environment changes you want to be able to adapt to it.

Our last session in June was all about people and how we develop the culture within our business. It also covered how important it is to value your team and how to build the right team around you.

We covered what our Job Role is and this should apply to all employees and contractors associated with your business.  At Strath Communications ours is – create fresh, results based marketing and communications.

The course is on until the end of November so I’ll come back with the other take key learnings from it.

Content Live 2018 – 15 and 16thNovember

I am super excited about this event run by Janet Murray.  I attend her content planning event last year and from this two day event I will have the content CONtent livemapped out for my business and clients businesses for the whole of 2019.

What I’ll learn from the event is:

  • Generating content ideas. How to identify key dates/awareness days within my industry and my clients industries. She is also going to share with us how to use ‘theming’ e.g. themed months or weeks to make your content planning easier
  • Content engagement – how to plan and create content that attracts engagement every time I post
  • Content repurposing: how to create multiple pieces of content from one idea
  • Planning content for launches be this my own product launches or clients, including the key pieces of content e.g. blog posts, marketing emails, social media updates that should be created for every launch

I’ll also get a copy of Janet’s Media Diary which allows me to plan key dates and PR activity, plus being in a room full of inspirational business leaders and owners is invaluable.

My objectives from the event are to have a completed content plan for my business for 2019 and have content plans mapped out for my key clients.  It will be a busy couple of days by with inspirational speakers and attendees it will be a fun couple of days too.

There’s still time to get a ticket too just click here

With personal development, comes business development and leads to the development of my clients businesses too.

Get in touch today with any feedback.

 

What do we need to create your marketing strategy?

What do we need to create your marketing strategy Strath Communications

When we work together there is information that you already have and use as part of your business that make writing and developing a marketing strategy and plan, extensions of your business planning process.

The marketing strategy will only work if it is aligned to your current business  objectives.

So what do we need to be able to develop your marketing strategy?

  • Copy of your business plan and current objectives
  • Access to any market research that the business currently has on who is buying the product and the market share
  • Access to any insights such as Google Analytics/social media insights/email database
  • New product launches planned
  • Current marketing activity

Through the above we will agree the marketing priorities for the business and key target markets.  We will write the marketing strategy and plan and create a discussion document so that we can agree the strategy along with the plan in line with any sales plan.

An initial meeting to discuss the above should only take a couple of hours, plus a couple of hours preparation time on our side to find out more about your business to ensure that from our initial meeting we can create your marketing strategy and develop a marketing plan.

Strath Communications Services
What can Strath Communications offer you

We believe in results and will create a dashboard that we can review so that the marketing is on track in line with the business and sales plans.

Plans and objectives so change and being agile to be able to adapt to this when it comes to marketing is all part of a Chartered Marketers skill however it’s much easier to be flexible if there is an overall marketing and strategy to follow in the first place. It means that when adhoc opportunities come along you are much better placed to maximise on these.

Just email us with any questions you have about working with a marketing consultancy, we’d love to hear from you.

If you want to know more about why to hire a marketing consultant read our blog here. Alternatively drop us a line to find out how we can work together to grow your business here.

Why do I need a marketing plan?

Why do I need a marketing plan Strath Communications

Why do I need a marketing plan?  How do I go about writing one, as I don’t know where to start?  If you find yourself asking these questions there really is only one thing to do and that is find an expert to help you.

A marketing plan is used to grow your business and talk to your customers using the the right channels at the right time.  Ultimately it is to enable you to sell more products or services.

The marketing plan will include who your target market is and planned activity on how you’re going to communicate with them.  It will also include your marketing budget, which should be around 10% of your annual turnover.  Ensuring that you spend consistently on marketing will ensure that you ultimately meet your business objectives.

So how do you start?

Review what you do now and where you want to go with your business.  What are your target markets and where will you reach them?  From this you can create a plan and content to reach them and what budget you will need.

With a plan in place it makes it much easier to be reactive if an opportunity comes along or you have to change direction in your business due to outside market pressures.

What do you need?

The best way is to start with a calendar and mark out all your product launches, events and key dates through out the year that you already know about.  Are there any key target markets you are going after and what level of resources will you have to target them.

How?

You will then be able to target the right channels to reach your customers and work on the right messages to get them to buy your products and services, as ultimately that’s why you’re in business, is to make a profit and solve your customers problems.

What next?

Make sure that you implement your plan consistently as this is what will generate results.

Review

Make sure you take time to review your plan on a regular basis as it may need amended as your business develops and you start to generate results.

We’d be happy to talk to you about how to implement the above and where you should start.  Just contact us today.

or read up our blog on hiring a marketing consultancy.

Why you should have a marketing plan?

5 simple tips to kick start your marketing

Why should I hire a marketing consultancy?

Why you should hire a marketing consultant strath communications

Where do I find one?
What can they do for me?

By hiring a marketing consultancy this allows you to focus on the running of your business and developing it further.

A marketer has invested a lot of time and money into their training and development so you don’t have to. At Strath Communications, Jennifer is also a Chartered Marketer, which means a programme of CPD (continuous professional development) each year to ensure that she stays up to date with the latest issues that affect marketing today.

Marketers ensure that they are upto date with the latest trends and channels that your customers are spending time in so that you don’t have to.  The world of marketing has changed so much over the past 20 years. Facebook and Twitter weren’t around, Mark Zuckerberg was only 3 years old!

Why should you hire a marketing consultant?

They will come to your business and find out what your strategies and objectives are, who your target customers are and the best channels to reach those customers through.  A Chartered Marketer has gained this knowledge through years of training and experience to do be able to do this for you.

Where do I find one?

Through your own networks. Ask other businesses who they are working with, who are you connected with on social media, who do your friends and family know.  Have you tried Google?

These are the best ways to find someone to work with who has the same outlook as you and will want to develop and grow your business with you.  Recommendations are one things but also check out their credentials online, can you find them, do they have a website, are they on social media?

What can they do for me?

A marketing consultancy will work with you and your business to create a marketing strategy that links with your business strategy and objectives.   They can also do the following for you too:

  • Setting objectives for your marketing and ensuring that these are delivered
  • Marketing planning and implementation
  • Content marketing for your website, social media and email
  • PR management
  • Social media management
  • Email marketing
  • Product launches
  • Packaging design management

This means that you can focus on the development of your business, be that new products, making it more profitable or increasing and developing sales.

A marketing consultant will keep you involved in the marketing through regular meetings, sharing content, sharing successes and monthly reports.  Marketing is important but it is also creative and fun too and we understand this.  So will keep you involved as much or as little as you want.

What next?

Review where your business is at and where you want to go with it.  Then get in contact with us at Strath Communications and we will work with you on the next stage of your business journey.

Not ready to contact us read 5 simple steps to kick start your marketing today.

Why do you need a marketing plan?

5 simple tips to kick start your marketing

5 simple tips to kick start your marketing Strath Communications

There are some key areas you need to know to really get the most out of your marketing and communications. Once you know these areas you’ll be able to measure effectively if your marketing is working and driving traffic/enquiries/sales to your business.

  1. Know who your customers are. It is essential that you know who your target market is. Who is buying your products or services and how often?  Are they loyal and repeat consumers?
  2. Find out where your customers hang out. Is it on or offline? It’s probably both but you need to know where to be able to target them and it will give you an idea of their interests.
  3. Plan, plan and plan. You need to know what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it.  Set objectives so you can measure and get a plan put together.
  4. Create great content targeted at your ideal customer. Content is great for SEO, the Google bot and sharing across your social media platforms and email channels.
  5. Share your content everywhere, online, on your website, on your social channels in your emails.

If you don’t know where to start that’s where I can help you.   I’ll work with you to find out who your ideal customer is, where they are and develop a plan to target them.  I will even create the content and deliver this so your customers know who you are and how your product or service is right for them.

Get in touch today and we can have a chat about where you are at with your business and where you want to go and let’s build a plan to get there.

Find out more about what we can offer you too and why you should hire a marketing consultancy.