A marketing plan is your guide to exactly how you are going to action your business marketing. It is the outcome of your thinking and decision making. It is your commitment written in paper, your route to success.
It is a common practice among many small business owners to spend a lot of time doing as opposed to planning. You may have a plan in your head that you have not yet committed to paper.
Getting out there and making things happen is vital to the success of any small business marketing; it is important, however, that they are the right things.
You can spend a lot of time and waste a lot of energy doing things the wrong way or simply just doing the wrong things. A simple marketing plan that you can create yourself using the ideas in this blogpost will keep your business
marketing on the right track.
Your challenge is to take the following eight-step plan with their accompanying think marketing questions and create the notes for your plan. When you have finished this woven motivation, you should be in a position to devise a complete marketing strategy that is right for your business.
HERE ARE YOUR EIGHT STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL PLAN
Each step contains a set of questions that you will need to be able to answer to complete your plan.
Step 1 – Understanding your market and your competition
• What is the marketplace within which you are operating?
• What is happening within that marketplace?
• How is the market moving?
• What are the trends?
• What are the hot issues?
• What is the industry press saying?
• Who do you consider a competitor?
• What are they selling?
• How do they position themselves?
• What is their unique selling proposition?
• What is their competitive edge?
• How much do they charge?
• What marketing literature do they use – what is it like?
• Where are their weaknesses?
• What is their website like?
• What are they not offering that you could?
Step 2- Understanding your customer
Your target customer
• Who is your target customer?
• What are some of the problems your target customer has?
• What is hot on their agenda right now?
• What is being talked about a lot in the industry press?
• Where is there a ‘gap’ in the market you are in?
• What would you most like to find out from your target customer?
• What questions could you ask them to enable you to uncover their problems and
• How are potential buyers currently buying what you are selling?
• What are their buying criteria?
• Where do they go to find out what is available?
• When do they tend to buy?
• What do they tend to respond to?
• What problems do they have?
• What solutions are they looking for?
Step 3 – Positioning your business
• What are your strengths and skills?
• Describe your best and most enjoyable customers to work with.
• What are your broad areas of business and expertise?
• If What do you know about the lives and challenges of your customers?
• Describe several potential niche customer groups.
• What are these niche groups’ problems?
• What could you sell them that would solve their problems?
• How are you positioning this business?
• What are you selling?
Step 4 – Developing your marketing message
• What is your brand?
• What is your USP?
• What is your strap-line?
• What are your marketing slogans?
Step 5 – Setting your direction and your marketing goals
• What is your vision for your business?
• What do you want to achieve with your marketing?
• What are your specific and measurable goals for each type of marketing you plan to do?
• Can you make each goal SMART- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound?
• What are the priorities?
• What are your timescales for the achievement of your goals?
Step 6 – Determining your marketing methods
• What marketing methods do you know that your successful competitors use?
• What has worked for you in the past? What has been your return on investment (ROI)?
• What has not worked?
• What can you do to raise your profile in the marketplace?
• Which methods can you use to attract new customers?
• What potential value do the following marketing methods have for your business?
• PR: Radio, TV. vehicle, bus, posters, billboards, newspapers and magazines advertising, google ads, Facebook ads, direct mail, sales letters, direct sales, telephone marketing, window displays, personal contact, referrals, host relationships and joint ventures
• What is most likely to work best for you?
Step 7 – Developing your budget
• Which marketing methods have you chosen to implement?
• What is it going to cost to utilise your chosen marketing methods?
• What resources are going to be required to implement these methods?
• What will you need to invest in each segment to achieve your goals?
• What return would you expect?
• How will you measure the return on your investment?
Step 8 – Planning your strategy
• How are you going to progress each element of your plan?
• What needs setting up?
• What are the priorities?
• What specific practical actions need to be taken to make it happen? By whom and by when?
• What are the steps?
• What are the milestones and deadlines?
• How will you monitor, evaluate and review your strategy?
Create your marketing plan
• Business description – who are you and what do you do
• Market – your industry, broad area of business operation
• Competition – who they are, what they offer, strengths and weaknesses
• Target customer group(s) – who you are aiming at
• Target market area(s) – the area(s) you want your business to come from
• Niche description – your target specialist area and business positioning
• Marketing message – your brand, strap-line, DSP and slogans
• Marketing goals and objectives – what you want to achieve
• Marketing methods – the methods you have chosen to utilise
• The budget – the amount you commit to spending
• The strategy – how you are going to do this and calendar of actions
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
Every Monday is a new start, an opportunity to start afresh. Give it a try again, create an awesome marketing plan; it’ll surely work out.
All of us at My Woven Words wish you a great week ahead!
Inspiring ways to market your business by Jackie Jarvis, pp 7-8
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