Entrepreneur Media Inc. guides entrepreneurs through the crucial steps of starting a business. Then, they help them to stay afloat for the next three years. These authors have edited a short excerpt to explain the basic steps of creating a business marketing plan.
Although everyone is aware that you need to have a business program, many entrepreneurs fail to realize the importance and value of a marketing strategy. A marketing plan, unlike a business plan, is focused on winning and maintaining customers. It includes numbers, facts, objectives, and details.
A marketing plan is a detailed description of all the tools and tactics that will be used to achieve your sales goals. It is your plan to achieve your sales goals. You don’t need to make your marketing plan long and complicated unless you are using it to get funding. Bulleted sections allow you to get right at the point.
Here are some tips to help you create a marketing program that works.
Step 1 – Take a snapshot to show the current state of your company.
This first section describes your company’s products and services. The second section shows how your company stands out from its competitors. It’s also called a “situational analysis.”
Target audiences has become highly specialized. Understanding your niche market is key to positioning your product or services competitively in any industry, including restaurants, professional services, and retail clothing shops. You need to not only be able and willing to market your product, but you should also understand the offerings of your competitors so that you can show why your product is superior.
A situation analysis gives you a quick overview of your company’s strengths, weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats. The characteristics of your business are strengths and weaknesses, while the outside factors that could pose a threat or opportunity are threats. You can determine the strengths of your business by looking at how its products and services compare to others. What competitive advantage does your business have? Your weaknesses can be anything, from operating in a highly competitive market to the lack of experienced staff members.
Next, write about any external opportunities that your company can profit from, such an expanding market for a product. Be sure to also include any external threats to your company’s ability to increase market share. Your plan will detail the steps you take to overcome these threats.
Positioning your product involves two steps. You first need to evaluate the product’s features and decide what they do for your product. Second, you need to decide which type of buyer will buy your product. What are they selling? Convenience? Quality? Discount pricing? It is impossible to do it all. It is important to understand your customers and decide what products you will offer.
Step 2: Define your target market.
Your next step should be to develop a brief profile of your prospective customers. You can also describe prospects in terms sex, age, family composition and earnings as well as lifestyle. You might ask yourself: Is my customer conservative or innovative? Leaders or followers Are they timid or aggressive Are you modern or traditional? Are you more introverted than extroverted How often do they shop for what I offer and how often? How often?
If you’re marketing to businesses, your target market may be defined based on the type of business, job title and size of the business. You can narrowly define your target audience, no matter their age. It will help you to plan your media and PR campaigns.
This is a simple technique to teach yourself online marketing.
Step 3 – Make a list listing your marketing goals.
What is your goal for your marketing plan? You might want to achieve a 20% increase of sales for your product each quarter. A list of goals should be made and made measurable to help you track when you reach them.
is a primer that will assist you in reaching your goals.
- Specificity. Your chances of achieving your goal are higher if you make it specific. Raising capital for your company is not a specific goal. Raising $10,000 by July 1st, however, is.
- Optimism. Be positive about your goals. Although it is a motivating goal, being able and able to pay the bills can be difficult. Your goal to achieve financial security can be expressed in a more positive light, which will boost your energy to accomplish it.
- Reality. It’s unrealistic to set a goal to make $100,000 per month when you’ve not made that much money in a single year. Begin small by increasing your monthly income by 25%. Once you reach your first goal, you will be able to set bigger goals.
- Long-term and short-term. The goal of short-term goals is achievable in weeks to a year. These goals can be set for five, 10, or even twenty years. Although they are longer-term than short-term goals and should be more realistic, they must still be realistic.
Step 4 – Research marketing tactics
This section represents the heart and soul your marketing plan. The previous sections outlined the goals and prospects of your marketing. Now, it’s time you detail the tactics you’ll use in order to reach these prospects.
A well-designed marketing program targets prospects at each stage of your sales cycle. Reaching cold prospects is possible with certain marketing tactics such as advertising, public relation, and direct marketing. Warm prospects are people who have seen your marketing message before and maybe even met you. They respond best when permission-based email is used, as well as loyalty programs and customer appreciation activities. Your most hot prospects are people who are open to your sales and marketing messages, and are willing to close a sale. Marketing combined with interpersonal sales contacts (email, phone or in person) can provide the final heat to close sales.
You can complete your tactics section by outlining your primary marketing strategies and then listing a range tactics you will use at each stage of your sales process. You could use outdoor billboards, local advertising, and online searches to reach cold prospects. However, you can also use emails for warm prospects.
Find out the media your target audience is using to learn more about the products and services you offer. This will help you identify your ideal marketing strategy. Broad-based media is best avoided. Even if it’s relevant to your target audience, it shouldn’t be used. The best marketing tactics must reach prospects at the most relevant time for your message.
Step 5: Set your marketing budget.
You will need to dedicate a percentage to your annual marketing budget . This may include borrowing money, borrowing money, or using existing funding to start a business. Keep in mind that marketing is crucial to your business’s success. There are many marketing strategies that can reach any niche market. Even the most limited budget will find one.
You may discover that you are spending more than you budgeted when you begin gathering costs for the tactics you identified in the previous step. Just go back to step one and adjust your strategies until you reach a cost-effective mix. It’s important to not stop marketing until you can afford the more expensive ones.