Vision Consults: What Has to Come Before a Marketing Plan?

Two business owners reviewing business strategy with printouts and a tablet.

Doing online marketing without a plan is a recipe for disaster, but doing a marketing plan without doing your homework can be almost as bad, especially when there’s a significant budget behind it. Without doing research, setting goals, and figuring out values, your marketing is going to be less effective – especially if you’re not sure who you are selling to. Today, we’re looking at what has to come before a marketing plan from the perspective of a marketing consulting agency.

Step One: Who Are You Selling To?

While this may seem like an easy question, the answer often illudes clients we consult with. They know that people buy their products and services, and they may even have data that can drive marketing and sales. But who buys from them and who they want to sell to are often not the same thing – most businesses want to expand who they sell to, and for that, they’ll need to identify their ideal client. Ideal client profiles – ICPs – are an important step in pre-marketing and can help businesses find new environments and markets to sell to, even in a very competitive niche.

Step Two: What’s the Cost?

When we’re consulting with a business, how much they want to spend on their marketing comes up sooner than later. It’s a simple question without a simple answer and usually requires the right follow-up questions and work on the part of the client. The two parts to setting this are:

  1. Dollar Value of Leads: Whether you want to call these goals, conversions, or leads, how much is a single client buying your product or service worth to you on average? Out of that dollar value, how much are you willing to spend to get another client to buy your product? Figuring out this amount allows you to…
  2. Set a Marketing Budget: Looking at the above number, how much total money are you willing to put towards these goals? How many new customers do you want to bring in? How much money can you put aside to reach these goals?

Only After These Steps Can You Build a Marketing Plan

We often help clients build a marketing plan, either for their own internal marketing use or outsourcing their marketing to us. But without knowing who they want to sell to or what they want to spend, there can be no strategy. A plan without a budget could be infinitely big to do an infinite amount of different marketing strategies and can often break down as parts get removed à la carte. The same can occur when it’s unclear who your customers are, as different demographics live on different parts of the internet, from social media platforms to different keywords that will entice them.

Further Reading and Resources on Marketing Strategy

Looking to learn more about marketing strategy, including how they tie in with larger business strategies? Check out additional blogs as well as recorded webinars from our monthly Bootcamp and other events:

Make sure also to check out our other blog in the Vision Consults series, Why Business Owners Need Better Time Management! If you’re interested in consulting with us at Vision Advertising about your business, reach out to schedule a time! Alongside our wide array of marketing services, we provide consultation, coaching, and mentoring for business owners and marketing leaders.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by his background, Alex writes “social media content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to whitepapers and beyond. In addition, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision’s clients, along with social media advertising for others. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, compiles tabletop roleplaying system conversions, and cooks a mean Chicken and Dumplings avec Peas. A videogame enthusiast, he is also developing his first video game with the startup game studio, Pretty Weird. He is terrible with plants*.

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