By Keri Sculland,
As the weather grows colder and the year draws to a close, you are likely preparing your business for the first quarter of 2022.
Your marketing plan is going to help shape your eye care business for the next year and many years to come.
So, what do you do?
Here, you can learn how to create an effective marketing plan in only one hour.
Marketing Plan Basics
A great marketing plan doesn’t have to take hours or days to create. If you know the basics, you can create it quickly and effectively.
We’ve created four simple steps to bring your marketing plan to life.
- Get to know your biz (in 15 minutes or less)
Have you heard of the SWOT Analysis? You can do this fairly quickly on a piece of paper.
Create four sections and write out your:
- Strengths: What sets you apart from your competition?
- Weaknesses: Where do you fall short in comparison?
- Opportunities: What’s going on around you that you can use to your advantage?
- Threats: Do you have emerging competitors or changes in customers?
These points will help direct you to where you need to go and how your marketing plan is going to help.
If you’re in-tune with your business, jotting these down shouldn’t take too much time.
Know Your Patients
Now that you know who you are, it’s important to also know who your customers and patients are. Think of your ideal patient and write that down. Many businesses in the eye care industry target mothers in their 30s to 40s because they tend to be the decision-makers of the household, which is a great target patient.
You can get to know this ideal patient even better by asking yourself “Who are they? What do they buy? Why do they choose your services? What motivates them to make a purchase? Where do they find their information?”
These answers will be useful in what products and services you market to them and how.
2. Set your marketing objectives (5 minutes)
Marketing plans focus on two main objectives:
- Converting leads into customers;
- Engaging customers and retaining their business.
3. Determine Your Strategy (20 minutes)
There are six main components to a marketing strategy. Make sure you have them all:
- An engaging website;
- Website SEO optimization;
- Creative and original content;
- Email marketing to send to your patients;
- Social media marketing to reach existing and potential customers;
- Pay-per-click advertising to reach new patients.
You’ll want to utilize all of these elements to attract new customers, keep the ones you have and increase how much money they spend at your eye care business.
How you do this depends on your marketing strategy. Do you want to increase engagement on social media? Do you want to be present on the web pages they are viewing using Google Display Ads? There are so many ways to attract customers so don’t hesitate to get professional help. Doing it yourself can often cost you more than hiring a professional.
Write down three key goals on how you want to achieve your growth objectives.
4. Lay Out Your Finances (20 Minutes)
You’ve been crunching the numbers and maybe you’ve already fine-tuned your operating budget for the next year.
It is essential to know what your sales goals are and how many new customers you require to reach that goal. To find this number, you will need to know how much money your average customer spends at your business per year.
You need to lay it all out there. How much are you budgeting for marketing?
According to the pros at Marketing4ECPs, if you want to see growth in your business, you should spend at least five to 10 per cent of your annual sales on marketing. If that sounds scary, think of marketing as an investment and not money out the door. Marketing done right should make you money not cost you money.
Take your determined marketing budget and break it up based on your customer’s habits into the areas you will spend your money on:
- Your website maintenance & updates;
- Your content & SEO;
- Email marketing & newsletters;
- Your social media presence;
- Your pay-per-click ads (Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.).
“Be mindful that understanding the right amount of budget to spend doesn’t happen overnight,” Marketing4ECPs president Kevin Wilhelm, has recorded an entire presentation on setting up a marketing budget and plan here to view anytime: https://marketing4ecps.com/our-webinars/.
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The ‘Ta-Da’ Moment
And just like that, you have a basic annual marketing plan.
Keri Sculland is a content writer and copy editor at Marketing4ECPs. Read more about Keri and Marketing4ECPs at www.marketing4ecps.com.