Questions to Ask a Client When Designing a Marketing Plan
Whether your business is large or small, and whether you’re meeting your current business objectives, exceeding them, or falling behind, every business needs a comprehensive marketing plan to succeed and expand. While some businesses create that plan in-house, many turn to experts like Globe Runner. A professional marketing agency eats, sleeps, and breathes marketing so that you can focus on what you do best—providing second-to-none products and services to your customers. And what should you expect from your marketing consultants? First, you should expect them to have a list of marketing questions to ask their clients. From brand strategy questions to specific business objectives and goals, here are some questions you can expect to be asked by a marketing firm—or, if you’re creating a marketing plan in-house, questions to ask the business owner (or yourself).
Marketing Questions to Ask Customers
- What business objectives does the marketing strategy need to support? Marketing for the sake of marketing doesn’t have a great ROI. A marketing plan to boost sales overall looks different than one to boost sales of a specific product. Having a concrete understanding of what your business objectives are will start you off on the right track. You can’t know what your target audience is if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to accomplish! Which leads to…
- Who is my target audience? Key to every aspect of a marketing plan, one of the very first things you need to know is who you’re trying to reach. Being as specific as possible is integral to this question. Basic demographics are important, but think beyond that. Are you looking to reach previous customers? New customers? Is the purchaser of your product or service the same person who will be using those services/products or different (e.g., women drive over 80% of consumer spending in the United States—making the purchasing decisions for their entire families)?
- What are the best ways to reach my target audience(s)? Once you’ve narrowed down that audience, you have to figure out how to reach them. A professional marketing firm has access to marketing data across the spectrum and can assist with ensuring that you’re taking your message to the right channels for your specific demographic.
- Does my marketing campaign strategy appeal to my target audience? It doesn’t help to get a message out to the right audience if it doesn’t resonate with them. Marketing firms also have a ton of data on what kinds of messages and marketing strategies are effective for different markets.
- What metrics determine success or failure? This relates directly to your business goals and objectives. If your marketing plan doesn’t include metrics, you can’t determine if it was successful. Make sure your marketing plan goals are SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
- Who are my primary competitors? It’s important to be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors. If your campaign is too similar to others, it may have little effect (or adverse effects). It’s also important to know how crowded the field is—how and where are they marketing? Can they out-market you budget-wise? Can you break through their noise or should you focus on a different demographic or niche?
What factors must be considered before writing a marketing plan?
The first factor to consider is the “Why?” What is it that you’re trying to accomplish? Are you expanding into a different market? Boosting sales? Of what and how much? Many people start with tactics and work their way backward. Tactics come last. Your goal should not be to “run Facebook ads for two weeks.” That’s a tactic. Once you’ve set your goals, then you can start looking at what target audiences you need to reach out to in order to meet those goals. After that, you can move on to tactics. And don’t forget the budget! You should know from the beginning what kind of budget you have to implement your marketing strategy—and be prepared to possibly have to shift either your budget or goals if they don’t match up. Check out how Globe Runner helped these businesses reach their goals!
How do you structure a marketing plan?
Your marketing plan should mirror the questions above. It should include your specific goals, a breakdown of your target audience, and the tactics to reach that specific audience along with a budget and timeline for each piece of the puzzle. There are dozens of great marketing templates available on the internet. We at Globe Runner like this template.