In the previous How to Start a Haunted House Part 5 we gave you an introduction to the marketing plan. We explained what a marketing plan was, why you should prepare one, what the plan will do for you and gave some characteristics of a good marketing plan. We also gave an outline of the sections that would be included in it. Now we move on with the marketing plan covering the first section which is Strategic Intent and this section will get you to set some goals.
The strategic intent will express your objectives for your marketing efforts. These will be expressed into short term which is in the next 12 months. Medium term which is in the next 3 years. Long term which is in the next 5 years. These objectives are to be specific. Below are some examples of specific and non specific objectives so you can get a better idea of what it is you will be setting as objectives for your marketing plans strategic intent.
- Bad Objective: To increase our profits over the next 12 months
- Good Objective: To increase profits by 5% over the next 12 months
- Bad Objective: We will implement a new marketing method
- Good Objective: We will implement a radio marketing campaign focused on informing our customers about who we are in the next 12 months
The strategic intent will set your goals and then your marketing activities will work to meet or exceed those goals. Each goal should be clear so the purpose and target are relevant so you can assess whether or not your target goals are being achieved. With that in mind you will want to make sure you are able to measure this information also. If you can not measure the information in some way then consider reworking your goals so they can be measured easily.
Now on the line with the 3 time frames, short, medium, and long. You will want your goals to be time bound. This means you need to make them realistic and achievable. If you manage to set a goal for short term which is a 12 month time frame but you exceed that and complete it in say only 6 months then take note of this. Information on what makes your goals effective on a quicker basis is great for research information for future goals. Your medium to long term goals will work the same way except for longer periods of time. The purpose of this is to get you to think about the overall direction and growth you are looking to achieve for your business. These will eventually turn into short term goals so make sure to keep them realistic and achievable.
Each year you will want to review your medium to long term goals so you can modify them based around the results from the previous 12 months. Review each goal to determine rather you may need to increase the action your taking and make it a more aggressive goal or maybe you need to pull back from it a little due to changing circumstances.
Now take what I have described and come up with 1-2 goals for each of the lengths of time. Consider what your doing in your business and for most of us most of our goals are targeted around October so make sure to set your objectives so their in line with your seasonal business. You do not want to set a goal to get your new radio marketing campaign going in the middle of June when everyone is on summer break and not paying a whole lot of attention to their haunt business. An example of one of ours was to run a new radio campaign that was to launch middle of September and run to light into October then it bumped up more into October toward Halloween steadily increasing over time. So for us haunters we have to take this objectives idea a step further because we have actual deadlines because if something does not go as outlined and ends up becoming effective November 5th or something that does us no good because we are no longer taking customers in.
So to wrap up, you want a good marketing plan and a key point of that is having good strategic intent with clear and achievable objectives. However being haunters and only open normally a month or two out of the year we have to take extra care to insure our objectives are in place to be effective during those time periods if they will be driving direct traffic to our locations. In the next How to Start a Haunted House we move on to the Market Review which consists of lots of research so look for that in the coming week.