How to start a marketing plan and strategy for hospitality
When we are analyzing and investigating all the aspects that are going to influence our business, we are also starting the Marketing Plan and Strategy.
All the information, documents, websites, analysis and data that we obtain will help us to build strategies and to decide the path that we have to follow in our plan.
To be able to make a Marketing Plan we have to understand that it is a roadmap with the actions to be carried out to achieve the objectives that we set for ourselves. The steps to follow to achieve it must be reflected.
The Marketing Plan and Strategy must also be flexible enough to adapt to the circumstances that are happening in our business and company.
With the following steps you can build your Marketing Plan and Strategy step by step.
1. Current situation: We have to see who we are and where we come from. The first mandatory step of any marketing plan is the analysis of the current business situation. We must be very clear about where we are and for this, an analysis of weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities (SWOT) helps us a lot. To do a SWOT analysis correctly, start by studying the internal aspects (weaknesses and strengths) and then the external aspects (threats and opportunities). By doing so you will get many more responses.
2. End customer: Defining our ideal customer (buyer) will help us better understand how we can access it. A buyer is a semi-fictional representation that puts “face and eyes” on the market we are targeting. To define it, we can answer the following questions:
– Who is our buyer persona? Here we collect information about the general profile of our ideal customer, their demographic information and personal identifiers.
– How can our company help you? We will detail this person’s primary and secondary goals and challenges and explain how we can help them address them.
– Why? Feedback on the challenges and goals of customers and their most common complaints and objections. Here you can be inspired by the real feedback you receive during the research process.
– How? Definition of the marketing and sales messages that you are going to use to reach this potential client.
3. Competitors: Large companies perfectly control this point, but entrepreneurs and small companies sometimes overlook it because a priori it seems difficult or expensive to do so. Fortunately, this is not the case and with the experience that Cooking Europe has with its clients we can tell you how to do it. We are going to focus on two main groups of competitors:
Direct Competition: They are those who target the same market as you and possibly sell the same service or product. This is also called “first degree competition”. In addition, they are the ones that are closest to your business. Finally, in restoration, all businesses solve the same problem but with different proposals.
Indirect Competition: They are in the same sector, they address the same target audience, but their services/products do not offer exactly the same thing. They use the same distribution channels and have other aspects in common. This is more difficult to appreciate because it is more subtle and the degree of substitutability is involved.
It is very important to analyze the financial situation of your competitors, this can provide valuable information, especially if you are in an initial or startup phase. At this stage of decision making, it is vital to have data regarding the profit and loss statement, how well your annual accounts work, etc. Your investment will depend a lot on this information. How can you get this information? On the one hand, you can request a financial study of your competition (any specialized consultancy such as Cooking Europe can do it) or you can try to do it on your own, it will take time and you may not be able to obtain all the data but you can do it.