Whether you own a big, medium or small sized business, the marketing planning process is the keystone as to how well your business performs. Businesses depend on steady revenue flows to keep it going and growing. Even after these revenue streams are established, your marketing plans will need to be maintained and refreshed in order to keep your existing customers loyal and happy while attracting new prospects to your car wash brand.
There are four vital stages to any successful and effective marketing planning process. We will explain their importance and what needs to accomplished at each juncture.
Goal setting analysis within marketing planning process
Suppose you plan on buying a car for yourself, you would probably have done the homework to narrow down your target options in terms of your preferred brand and model, price range, performance, etc. Without setting these goals, you are likely to be easily swayed by the salesperson into over-extending your budget.
When it comes to the marketing planning process your car wash, there are many avenues such as: increasing new customers, increasing visit frequencies by existing customers, and seeking out new commercial leads which all have the potential to bring in revenue. But, which works better, given your primary objectives: resources, strengths, weaknesses and target market preferences?
To help you better assess what your marketing goals should be at any given time, you need to take stock of prevailing business and market circumstances. The clearer and more specific you are with setting the goals, the easier it is to stay on course to achieving them.
Create The Marketing Planning Process Strategies
Going back to the car purchase analogy, given the choice of car dealerships to choose from, you are better off to be prepared with a few strategies to help you lock in the best deal.
Similarly, in marketing, there may be several revenue channels you can choose from throughout the year but probably not all of them will amount to optimal solutions. Moreover, not all customers have the same economic value; so you will need to have good industry and market knowledge in terms of their demographics, geography and psychographics to tap into your target car wash audience.
Likewise, you need to do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to take stock and understand which of your objectives are achievable and what you are up against where the more challenging initiatives are concerned. For instance, if your car wash sales trends have shown dips in the winter months in the past, you will want to focus your marketing efforts on your car winterizing services instead.
Allocating Resources in The Marketing Planning Process
The setting of clear goals facilitates this next step of planning, organizing and allocating resources for the implementation of your strategies. As resources are limited, you want to ensure you get the most effective and best returns on their investment as you roll out your marketing plans for the year. You need to map out what resources are needed and when in order not to get caught out having to pay premium rates for stand-in resources in the middle of your car wash marketing event, fundraiser or promotions.
Your marketing strategic plans will include promotions, campaigns, and events of sorts. Additionally, the medium which you will use to conduct them will run through the gamut of online, print, mainstream media, radio, local TV and things of that nature. What you want is to set metrics for tracking the impact of each of your strategic marketing goals such as revenue per car, sales mix or number of cars washed.
Unless you keep a close tab on all of your ongoing programs, you will not have a reference point for your future marketing plans as to which activity brought in the higher number of customers, the larger revenue/value or which ones fared better.
This post gives you an overview of the marketing planning process needed for your car wash. As a follow on in this series, we will expand on the actual steps needed in each of the four stages of the marketing planning process for your car wash.
We have taken and made great strides in our marketing efforts throughout our company’s history. One of the benefits we extend to all our franchisees is the breadth and depth of the marketing knowledge and proven practices we have acquired. We encourage you to read more about our DetailXPerts opportunity.
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