Get Ready for Primetime Marketing – Part Three
How to Get Your Aviation Marketing Ready for Primetime – Part 3
In this final post of the series: Getting Your Aviation Business Ready for Primetime, we’ll discuss the importance of developing a strategic marketing plan.
In Step 1, we discussed the importance of understanding the marketplace – the trends, threats, issues and opportunities that affect the aviation industry and have a direct impact on your business.
In Step 2, we discussed the importance of setting business goals and a realistic marketing budget to achieve them.
In Step 3, we’ll explore what an effective marketing plan should include.
A Strategic Marketing Plan should have strategic objectives for your business. It should also include tactical recommendations, which are the marketing tools and media to be use that will achieve your business goals. The plan should also include a schedule of when these marketing tools will be implemented, who is responsible for their implementation, along with the budget requirements for the marketing efforts to achieve your objectives.
Step 3, Do You Have a Plan, Stan?
Developing a strategic marketing plan for your aviation business is one of the most important steps a company takes to reach its business goals and attain long-term growth and success, yet it is many times ignored.
An effective marketing plan supports a company’s overall business goals and objectives, with detailed marketing strategies and tactics answering the essential questions of: Who, Why, What, Where, When, How, and How Much.
Who is the “situation analysis” of your specific marketplace, including company background, products and/or services along with the company’s mission. This also identifies key prospects by distinct market segments: Who are they? How many? Where are they located? What are their needs and values? What are their buying motives? etc.
Who also addresses marketplace issues such as: Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your company? What trends, issues and opportunities exist in the marketplace, and what strategic options are available in which to benefit from them.
Why focuses on your company’s specific goals and objectives and the role marketing will play in achieving them. The best goals are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, with a Timeline for achieving them.)
What is the “game plan” through which marketing objectives are achieved. What determines the best marketing strategies to be used. The key aspect here is company positioning:
• The key benefit or promise your firm delivers
• How your company is currently perceived by customers, and how it should be perceived.
• How your company differentiates itself from competitors.
What also forms the basis of the creative sales message that will be the foundation of your marketing.
When is the marketing timeline: the chronology and deadlines for meeting each task, by what date, and by whom.
How is the actual implementation or action plan. It specifies which marketing tools, tactics and media to use, along with timing and weight. This is where most creative work is done: advertising created, news releases distributed, brochures developed, trade shows attended, digital media created, etc.
How Much refers to the budget that is necessary to fully implement your marketing program, and how to best allocate funds for each tactic.
7 Key Benefits of a Strategic Marketing Plan
- Encourages a thorough review of all factors that impact success for your business, and brings to light opportunities and pitfalls often overlooked by “winging it.”
- Clearly delineates goals and provides a powerful direction and long-range view to your business – minimizing impulsive decision, which can prove costly.
- Provides an accurate market-driven foundation on which to build the rest of your business’s operating plans.
- Builds consensus and support with internal staff and departments – fostering coordination and consolidation of efforts – maximizes efficiency and effectiveness.
- Empowers team members to take actions, which are appropriate and consistent with the company’s overall marketing goals.
- Results in optimum use of your marketing budget and resources.
- Facilitates measurement of marketing effectiveness and objective evaluation of past actions and results. Avoids repetition of mistakes, recognizes those tactics providing superior performance and bringing to light those that underperform.
If you would like more information on how to setup and effective marketing plan, you can read how in our book titled: Full Throttle Aviation Marketing.