When presenting a marketing plan to a prospective client, what you include has a lot to do with the type of business that they have and the marketing infrastructure they already have in place. The smaller the business, the more likely it is that they have no marketing plan at all, relying solely on word of mouth for promotion. In these cases, the marketing plan may need to begin by helping the business owner or leadership define what their identity is as a brand. Only then can the concrete marketing begin to happen.
I recently presented a marketing plan to a small but reputable landscaping company in the Florida Keys, Matecumbe Machinery. While I won’t include the entirety of this presentation here, I will show portions of it to illustrate the process of first defining the business identity alongside the owner and then brainstorming potential ways to promote it.
One of the first steps was helping the owner, Nate, define his company’s mission and vision, along with its main values. He already had them in his way of operating, but having them written down makes them more concrete and central to his brand’s identity.
Still working together with him, I helped Nate identify some emerging trends among his customer base.
Next, we defined the ever-important SWOT analysis, followed by an examination of Matecumbe Machinery’s main competitors and the level of threat that they pose.
After broadly defining the business’s target audience, we cooperatively broke it down into more nuanced customer segments, each of which has a different path to purchase.
Although there were elements of the existing brand logo that Nate was attached to, we decided to revitalize and brighten it up. The result included two variations, to be chosen depending on the placement of the logo.
It was also pointed out that, despite being a service provider and not a retailer, Matecumbe has good options through which to package its product and attract attention.
I then helped develop a simple but concrete set of guidelines to direct how Matecumbe’s services are distributed.
Another step in the process was helping Nate plan out and navigate how he would promote his services and brand identity online. This included the process of defining what channels to use, what forms of online ads may be worth paying for, and what sort of social media strategy would contribute to brand loyalty.
As part of a larger plan to increase the number of jobs done by Matecumbe, I encouraged a more formalized form of relationship marketing, through which Nate could ensure that his customers feel heard, as well as to attain a potential source of new business referrals.
The complete plan also included such nuances as pricing strategy, brand mantras and promises, the standardization of branding colors, and more. Although I didn’t include the entirety of the plan presentation, I hope this is a helpful glimpse into one format that a marketing plan proposal can take. The most important part is working side by side with the decision-maker at every step of the way possible. After all, they know their business more than anyone.