All, Early Stage Startups, Marketing Strategy

Magnetude Blog Series: A First-Time Founder’s Guide to Building a Marketing Plan (Intro)

Magnetude Consulting is pleased to introduce an eight part blog series geared towards start-up founders and other non-marketing entrepreneurs who need help building a context-appropriate marketing plan for their venture.

Dubbed ‘Magnetude Mondays’, each Monday morning for the next eight weeks, Magnetude will bring you one step closer to having a realistic and executable marketing plan.

Part I: Put on your Marketing Hat

Most founders wear many hats, and if you’re anything like the rest of us, there are certain tasks that you keep putting off because they’re outside your comfort zone. For founders without sales or marketing backgrounds, building and managing a marketing plan tends to be one of those items.

However, a basic understanding, paired with your existing knowledge of your industry can go a long way. Not only is building a marketing plan achievable, but it’s also essential in today’s competitive environment.

Why Create a Plan

Whether you’re nearing the end of beta mode or looking to take your business to the next level, you need to have a plan. Plans do a few important things for your business:

  1. Serve as a forcing function to think consciously and deliberately about the market you want to enter
  2. Clarify your business development and revenue objectives
  3. Keep you honest by providing ongoing direction and reinforcement on the tactics you believe will help you reach your goals
  4. Help you learn from the past and continuously improve and evolve

Common Elements of a Plan

  • Company Overview: A brief overview of what the company does, who it serves, and how it is unique in the market, articulated in client-facing language.
  • Target Market & Position: A description of the types of companies and users your firm is focused on pursuing, and the messaging that describes your firm’s unique value to each segment.
  • Business Objectives: The major objectives for the firm specific to where marketing or sales can have an impact—such as raising awareness, generating demand, or creating competitive advantage.
  • Timeline: While marketing plans can span months, quarters, or years, most startups should start with a quarterly plan.
  • Resources: An outline of the resources at your disposal. You should think in terms of people (their time and skill sets) and budget.

Next Monday’s blog post will dive into the first step and outline how to establish business objectives that will drive your marketing plan creation. Follow us on Twitter to stay informed of new posts in the series.

If you already have ideas or urgent marketing needs for your venture and are looking for guidance, please contact us.