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For some, the end of the summer holidays is a chance to catch up with friends and let off steam in the playground… 📚

For others, it’s back to trigonometry, exams and being told off for “illegally” selling chocolate bars at break-time.

Yet for us adults, it’s business as usual (except now, it’s raining outside).

But don’t forget, every day’s a school day, especially when Professor PM has their teaching hat on… Now, eyes front, it’s time to get cracking! In this blog, we’ll take you back to basics so you can refresh your marketing plan and build up your sales as we head into autumn.

Back to Basics

We’re kicking off the term with Business 101, starting with your marketing plan. 🎓

We have a very busy schedule, so no dawdling between classes, and if you have any questions, be sure to shout out. 🙋

Class has begun

Key Stage 1 – Set a Goal

Okay, you caught us, we’re easing you in with an obvious one, but without a clear goal, your marketing can become muddled. You need to consider what you want to achieve; this doesn’t have to be your dream scenario, but you should push yourself to get the most out of your marketing.

Do you want more sales from new customers or growth from existing ones?

If you want growth, what does that look like and where will it come from? Is this possible with the resources you have available? Could you easily double sales and serve your customers well, or would you also need to build your resources?

While setting a goal might sound easy, there are lots of things to consider when creating an achievable goal to underpin your marketing strategy.

Key Stage 2 – Create a Plan

Now we’re stepping things up a grade…

It’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to achieve your goal. What tools do you need in your pencil case to get the ball rolling? What ideas can you come up with to help you move that one step closer?

This can be the most difficult part of the process, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or take inspiration from other people – but be aware, we’ll be checking for plagiarism! 👨‍🏫

Our reading list includes Pinterest, Creative Review and The Drum, but don’t be afraid to do some extra reading as long as it’s relevant and from a reputable source.

Be prepared with a detailed plan

Key Stage 3 – Create a Strategy

Settle down students, only one more class to go until home time!

Finally, you have to break your plan down into smaller, more attainable steps. This is known as your marketing strategy. Splitting things into smaller chunks will make the whole thing seem much less scary, so you can get on with your tasks.

A strategy creates a tick list of things to do, giving you a timescale for how and when you’re going to achieve each step in your plan.

Top Tip: Setting yourself short-term deadlines for each task is a great way to make sure you stay on top of your marketing.

Don’t rush out of class just yet…

No school day is complete without a little bit of homework. We’ve set some handy assignments to help you kick-start your marketing this autumn.

And don’t leave it until the last minute!

Pens at the ready!

Assignment 1 – Use Email

Email is normally overlooked when creating a marketing plan, but this assignment is just as important as the final exam.

Email is a simple and effective way to stay in touch with your customers, letting them know what you’ve been up to and keeping them connected.

Regular emails can deliver a great return on investment with Marketing Week reporting a £32.28 return for every £1 spent on email marketing.

Assignment 2 – Get Social

While normally we don’t condone the use of Facebook during school time, it can be a great way to boost your marketing plan.

Social Media is a two-way street. Don’t get caught up talking about yourself all the time, interact with people and other businesses in your industry. Not only does this make your feed interesting and varied, but it also shows your followers that you know what you’re talking about.

Sharing customer stories, using hashtags and tagging clients, suppliers and partners are all great ways to grow your reach and keep your followers entertained.

Assignment 3 – Shout About What You’re Good At

This assignment might not come naturally to everyone, but it’s important to include in your marketing mix – so don’t be too modest!

Writing blogs and content that shares what you’re good at shows your customers that you aren’t just all talk. That being said, your message has to have a point. It’s all well and good being great at juggling but how will that help your customer?

You need to consider what you do to make your customer’s life easier and how you can help them.

Whether it’s an opinion piece on a hot topic in your industry, a case study to show off your most recent project or a back to school blog, releasing regular content is an important step in your marketing plan.

How is your digital presence?

Assignment 4 – Give Yourself a Digital MOT

Your fourth and final piece of homework is to take a look at your online presence.

Does your website still perform as well as it did when it was launched? Is it user-friendly? How quickly can users see and respond to a call to action?

With the rapid pace of technological advancement, you need to stop every once in a while, to make sure you are keeping up. If you don’t, you risk losing the customer at the last hurdle and all of your hard work becomes pointless.

 

Still struggling? Speak up.

Concerned that you don’t have enough time to get it all done and still enjoy your free time?

Don’t worry, we’re here to share the load. Pop in for a chat to see how we can help you get an A* in Marketing. 🍎

Let's get started.

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Posted by Rebecca Ellis