Developing a Marketing Plan
1. Marketing Strategy: How Will Your Marketing Plan Support Your Group Goals?
Before even beginning to develop your marketing plan, make sure that your team has a clear vision of what your group goals are. Marketing strategies should always be tied to helping your group achieve its goals. Reflect on your group goals as a team
2. Mission Statement: What Are You Trying to Accomplish, and Why?
Moving beyond your group goals, consider what your mission statement is. A mission statement highlights what you are trying to do and why you are doing it. This mission statement is specific to the marketing plan you are developing and will serve as its foundation, making sure that you are focused on the purpose of your marketing. You should continually refer back to your mission statement as a reminder of what the purpose of your marketing plan is.
3. Target Audience: Who Are You Trying to Reach With Your Marketing Activities?
Consider who you are trying to reach through your marketing activities. Do research to better understand your target audience, what they want, and what would encourage them to engage with our group. This knowledge will help you create marketing materials that attract them to your group.
Remember that the members of your team were likely once a part of your target audience, so ask everyone to reflect on what may have drawn them to your group back then. This can help you understand the appeal of your group.
4. Competitive Analysis: Who Else is Out There?
There are many clubs on the UTM campus; naturally, some of these clubs will have overlapping target audiences. It is a good idea to look into what other clubs are active on campus, especially if they may be targetting similar audiences to yours.
Being aware of similar clubs can be helpful so that you can avoid conflicts in terms of event times, allowing your shared membership to engage with both groups rather than choose between them.
Consider teaming up with these clubs to increase the outreach of all those involved as you work towards collective goals.
5. Unique Proposition: What Makes Your Group Unique?
Reflect on your own group and look into what sets you apart from other clubs on campus, especially those who serve similar purposes as you do. It is important for you to be aware of the unique role you play in student life.
6. Pricing Strategy: What Will You Charge, and Why?
Does your group charge a membership fee? If so, think about what is provided to members that justifies the fee, especially since many other clubs do not charge a membership fee.
If your group does not charge a membership fee, how do you subsidize the costs for your events? Will you be charging attendees who come out to your events?
7. Promotional Plan: How Will You Reach Your Target Market?
Now that you've done your research and reflected on your group's goals, it's time to develop your promotional plan by doing the following:
- Decide on which promotional platforms to use. Refer here for a list of possible promotional platforms that are accessible to your group.
- Create a marketing timeline. Consider the timeframe you have and when you would like to launch each marketing campaign.
8. Marketing Budget: How Much Money Will You Spend, and on What?
Although most marketing strategies available to student groups are free of cost, it is important to account for any small costs, such as poster printing, that your marketing strategy may accumulate.
9. Action List: What Tasks Do You Need to Complete to Reach Your Marketing Goals?
Now that you have your plan, it's time to decide what needs to be done to accomplish it. Identify the tasks that your team must accomplish to set your marketing plan in motion. Take your end goal and break it down into more managable steps and tasks that need to be accomplished. For each action item, there should be someone responsible for its completion as well as a deadline.
10. Metrics: What Results Have You Achieved, and Where Can You Improve?
An important, yet often forgotten, component of marketing is the analytics. It is imperative that you track and measure the results of your marketing plans each time to look for ways to improve.
How you measure your results will depend on the marketing tactics you used. Most online platforms will provide you with the analytics directly. Most other platforms may require manual methods to be used. You can consider sending out assessments to evaluate what campaign you ran was most effective (refer here for more on assessments).