6 Steps to a Marketing Communications Plan for a Startup

Every startup needs meticulous planning for it to succeed and that is why entrepreneurs are always advised to create a business plan that will guide them through their startup journey. One important aspect of any business plan is the marketing plan and while one might have a well drafted plan, putting this plan into action is another matter entirely. This action phase involves crafting a Marketing Communications strategy that effectively positions your business as the ‘go-to’ in your niche market.

 

Marketing Communications is simply anything you do to bring the message of what you do to the world. You might have a wonderful product or service, a top notch marketing plan, but not communicate it effectively. This is why every detail is important because success does not come to those with the best products or services, but those with the best Economics.

 

So, while you might be good at what you do, you also need to understand your market and how to get to them. You need to know:

  • What message you want to pass across.
  • How you intend to pass said message.
  • Who you want to pass the message to.

 

Let us examine 6 steps to a Marketing Communications plan for your startup business.

  1. Know your target market: Quentin Tarantino is probably one of the most criticized movie makers in the world, due to his sometimes-over-the-top storylines, unrealistic movie stunts and love for gruesome, bloody deaths. But one thing you cannot criticize him for is the fact that he knows his audience and they are people who love Violence on TV. Lots of It! Through the knowledge of his market, he has carved for himself a niche that it is possible to know a Quentin Tarantino movie without even seeing the opening credit. Is it a revenge fantasy? Are there lots of blood and gruesome deaths? Are the stunts over the top? This must be Quentin Tarantino! It is better to be a specialist at something than to be average at everything. As a startup, you must identify your target market and show them you are the best at what you do. Know their interests, what they expect from you and how they want it. You can find this out by asking questions or carrying out a market survey. With this knowledge, you will be able to position your product or service.
  2. Find your Unique Selling Proposition: What is it about you that makes you unique? Is it your superior product? Is it your customer service or is it your pricing? Conduct a SWOT Analysis and measure your Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats. Amplify your strengths, work on your weaknesses, take advantage of your opportunities and set things in place to limit your threats.
  3. Market Communication Mix: Once you know your target market and Unique Selling Proposition, the next question is how do you reach them? If you write books for the elderly, it might not be a wise idea to advertise your books on Social Media. The market determines the medium. For instance, it is not out of place to see a sports shoe advert during the half time of a football game. This is because those who would be interested in sports shoes are most likely watching the game. Go to where your market is and showcase your product or service.
  4. Determine your Branding: It is cool to have a consistent look that your market recognizes. Branding can be a uniform, logo or anything that differentiates you from others. You only have to see the Nike logo to know what brand that is and you only need to hear the words “Our pleasure” to you know you are in a Chick-Fil-A fast food. Give yourself a consistent look that your market will recognize any time and any day.
  5. Plan your Success: First, you need to ask yourself what success means to you. It can be the number of leads you get from your marketing efforts, the number of leads that transforms into sales, the number of clicks on your YouTube video, etc. When you determine what makes success for you, take steps to achieve them. When you are done, measure your success with your plan and make further plans to improve where you fell short.
  6. Action! Action! Action: After all these steps, take the necessary actions to achieve your marketing goals.

 

Samuel Ejedegba