Help your business grow by learning how to make a promotional plan!
8 Steps to Develop a Promotional Plan
Step 1: Understand the Purpose of a Promotional Plan
What is a promotional plan? It is a marketing tool that provides pertinent information about your business. It also presents promotional strategies that will be used to increase revenue.
It’s important to understand what a promotional plan is and why you need it. Promotions are strategies you use to communicate information about your products and services.
Before engaging in any promotional activity, it’s important to sit down and craft a promotional plan to ensure that your goals are aligned with your strategies. It also gives you the opportunity to consider your resources when you select promotional strategies.
Step 2: Set a Budget
The first thing you need to consider is your resources. Go over your books and figure out how much money and manpower you can allocate for your plan.
Marketing activities are very important, but it should not come at the expense of your business operations. It’s a good practice to cover all your operational expenses before you invest in marketing.
Your budget for your plan should come from your net profit. To make sure you’re not overspending, take note of the following details:
- Breakdown of monthly business expenses from the last 6-12 months
- Total monthly revenue from the last 6-12 months
Your expenses and revenue will give you an idea of your net profit. Allocate a percentage of your net profit for your promotional plan.
Step 3: Set Clear Goals and Measurable Targets
The objectives of your promotional plan have to be very clear from the beginning. Usually, promotional activities aim to:
- Introduce a new product or service
- Sell more pre-existing products or services
- Expand market reach
Your promotional plan may have more than one objective, but you need to make sure that each objective is matched with a specific set of strategies. Otherwise, you’re less likely to get a return on your investment.
Once you’ve identified your goals, you need to develop measurable targets or key performance indicators (KPI) that will allow you to assess the success of your strategies. The simplest and most straightforward KPI is a revenue-based goal within a specific timeline.
It’s helpful to set reasonable, short-term KPIs within your timeline. In this way, you can regularly review your progress and adjust your strategies if you’re not meeting your short-term goals.
Step 4: Identify the Target Market
Once your goals and timeline are in place, it’s time to think about your potential customers. Before you even consider your promotional strategies, you need to have a clear idea of who you’re trying to reach.
Here are some characteristics that may help you clearly define your target market:
- Demographic information – includes your target market’s age, gender, ethnicity, civil status, religion, educational attainment, employment industry, and religion
- Geographic information – information about your target market’s neighborhood or city
- Psychographic information – information about your target market’s ideologies, lifestyle choices, interests, and personalities
Once you have these details, you’ll be able to choose the most effective promotional strategy for your particular target market.
Step 5: Choose Appropriate Promotional Strategies
There are four categories of promotional strategies:
- Personal Selling – involves selling or presenting products/services to potential clients in a one-on-one meeting
- Advertising – involves featuring a message across different mediums, such as television, billboards, newspapers, radio, and magazines
- Sales Promotion – other forms of promotional activities that don’t fall under personal selling and advertising. Examples of sales promotion activities include catalogs, brochures, trade shows, parties, and web-based promotions
- Public Relations – involves activities that aim to improve the image of your business, products, or services. This usually comes in the form of a press release or free media coverage
You may need to use different promotional strategies to meet your goals. Apart from identifying the appropriate strategies, you should also indicate when these activities will take place.
Use your research on your target market to determine the best season and time to implement each promotional strategy. You want to make sure that a good chunk of your target market are available when you execute your strategies.
Step 6: Establish Your Team
An important step in crafting your promotional plan is to identify the people who will help you execute it. Identify the people or teams in charge of specific tasks.
It’s best to define the scope of each person’s role and responsibility. This will also make it easier to hold your team accountable for the tasks at hand.
This step also helps ensure that you have the necessary manpower to execute your plans.
Step 7: Communicate the Promotional Plan to Stakeholders
It’s important to learn how to write a promotional plan. A promotional plan template usually includes the following sections:
- Business mission statement
- Overview of current business status
- Overview of products/services offered
- Target market
- Long-term goals and KPIs
- Proposed promotional strategies and timeline
- Personnel needed
- Breakdown of budget
Distribute your promotional plan to your stakeholders. This includes your investors, managers, and anyone involved in implementing your plan.
Tip: Have an open mind when you present your plan to your stakeholders. They may see gaps in your plan and offer suggestions that can make your plan more effective.
Step 8: Execute Your Plan and Review Targets Regularly
After all the planning, it’s now time to execute your promotional plan. It’s important to review your KPIs at regular intervals.
If you aren’t hitting your targets, meet with your team to get feedback. You may need to adjust your plan to respond to unforeseen circumstances.
Tip: Take the time to document your progress and insights. It’ll be useful in the future when you need to come up with another promotional plan.
Now that you know how to create a promotional plan, you can easily communicate your strategies to your stakeholders. It also helps ensure the feasibility and effectivity of your proposed strategies.
If you’re a small or start-up business owner, you may want to explore more cost-effective promotional strategies since traditional advertising can be quite expensive.
Fortunately, there are many unique sales promotion options these days. For example, you can swap out a traditional brochure for a custom USB brochure.
When your sales promotion is unique, your customers are more likely to remember you!
Are you looking for unique promotional strategies? Let us know in the comments section.