Guest Blog from the lovely people at Childcare Marketing - Creating a Childcare Marketing Plan
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is an essential document that is created by a business to outline a company's marketing intentions for a certain period. This period can be any length but at Childcare Marketing we recommend writing them quarterly (4 times a year). This means you can regularly update them as your business evolves and progresses. It also allows you to monitor your marketing more closely, with a longer period, it can be easy to forget about it and lose sight of your aims. So what does a marketing plan consist of?
❖ Your marketing goals - What are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts? For example, it may be that your childcare business is struggling to sign up enough children, so your marketing will be directed towards increasing sign ups.
❖ Your current marketing position – What do you currently do in the way of marketing? It’s important to identify your current position so you can see where improvements are needed.
❖ Your target market and consumer needs – By identifying who your customers are and what they want then you can target your marketing efforts.
❖ Marketing activities- A list of the actions that you plan to enact within the specified period to achieve your marketing goals.
❖ Key performance indicators- A way of measuring how well you are achieving your marketing goals .
❖ A timeline- A list of your marketing activities with deadlines connected to them. This can also involve who will carry out each activity. The timeline is another good way of measuring the success of your marketing plan.
Marketing is one of your most powerful tools as a childcare business and ensuring you’re making the most of this tool is very important. By creating a strong marketing plan it can ensure that you have a direction and gives you something to stick to. A marketing plan can be great for team cohesion as everyone has a clear goal to work towards with clear actions for achieving this goal. Most businesses don’t have a marketing plan and end up wasting so much time and effort going down marketing avenues that bear no fruit. So what are you waiting for? Be one of the few businesses that writes a marketing plan and change your marketing fortunes today!
Creating your childcare marketing plan
In this blog, we will explore these components and give you tips on writing your marketing plan. The first component is your marketing goals, i.e. what you plan to achieve with your marketing. Below is a list of potential marketing goals:
- Increase your sign ups
- Build brand awareness
- Launching a new service
- Target new customers
- Enhance customer relationships
The second component involves analysing what you are currently doing in the way of marketing. Some key areas that you could analyse include your social media, email marketing and/or content marketing. You may want to look at whether these areas are currently producing the results you intended and perhaps look to other areas you could explore such as public relations.
The third component involves identifying your target market and looking into what their customer needs are. The perfect way to do this is by asking the questions below:
● Who are your customers?
● What factors affect their decision to buy?
● When do they buy/use the service?
● Why do they use the service?
The fourth component is which marketing activities you plan to carry out. Your marketing goals, current market position and your target market may point to some particularly relevant marketing activities. For example, your objectives may be to increase your brand awareness, your customers are likely to be parents and you may have previously put minimal effort into your Facebook presence. Therefore, your marketing activity would be to create a consistent, powerful Facebook campaign.
The penultimate component is thinking about how you will measure the success of your chosen marketing activities. Using the Facebook example, your key performance indicator may be the post engagement such as the likes, comments, views and shares. The key performance indicator will vary depending on your objectives and the chosen marketing activity.
The final part of the marketing plan is the timeline. For each marketing activity you choose, you should also attach a deadline so you have something to work towards. By making your chosen activities time-bound, it will keep you and your team motivated and is another way of monitoring your progress towards achieving your marketing goals.
Creating a childcare marketing plan is a quick and easy process yet so many businesses don’t have one. The time lost writing the marketing plan is nothing compared to the time lost on aimless marketing activities. We look forward to hearing from you about your marketing plan success!