6 Essential Steps To A Great Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan is often an overlooked ingredient to your business success. But it is essential to have one. Most small businesses are have limited resources and they cannot often spend as much money as they would like on their marketing efforts. So you have to make the most of what you have. A great plan will help you do that.
Many people find that just writing a proper business plan can be a daunting task. So trying to write a marketing plan might seem down right overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. A good marketing plan is a key ingredient to putting together sustainable sales for your business. It's about how you are going to attract your customers today and keep them tomorrow. It's an essential part of winning in business. Here are the pertinent steps that you need to take to write a great plan.
1. The first thing you need to do is lay out exactly where you are at right at this moment. You need to determine how effective your current and past marketing efforts have been. Most likely those efforts lacked a plan of their own and so they probably were not too effective. In addition you need to ask your customers how they see you. Are you the guy on speed dial when they need something you can provide or are you lost in the rolodex? Determining how your customers already perceive you will help you with the direction your planning needs to take.
2. Goal setting is the next step to writing an effective plan. You have to set goals for your plan. Otherwise you won't be able to determine whether the plan is a success or not. You need to set very specific goals for your plan and they need to be realistic. Pipe dreams do not make a good foundation. And if you have multiple goals then they need to be prioritized from most to least important. If you are going to use figures of any type as your benchmarks for your goals then you need to be clear about what your starting point for your benchmark is such as the start of a new fiscal quarter.
3. You need to determine your target market for your plan. Saying you'll sell to just about anyone isn't exactly going to cut it. You have to be more specific than that. One factor to consider is whether you sell to other businesses or to the public. That will help you determine what kind of information you need to compile. Businesses can be broken up into target industries as an example while the public is broken down into demographics such as age, income level, and gender.
4. Once you've determined your target audience then it's time to start doing your homework. Good research is a key ingredient to your plan. There are plenty of trade magazines, websites, associations, and the like available to find information, most of it free or low cost.
5. Now we get to the meat and potatoes of your marketing plan. Your plan of action. It's at this point that you're going to decide on what your strategy is actually going to be. You want to consider what kind of message you want to put out and how you are going to keep that message consistent. This is when you decide what methods you are going to use to spread the word about your business.
6. Now we get to budgeting of your resources. How much can you spend and where are you going to spend it? You'll also need to decide how long you are going to pursue the plan you are crafting. This will directly affect your budget. Because you need to decide for how long your budget will need to be stretched.
Completing these 6 steps is an essential part to drawing up a good marketing plan for your business. Your plan must be carefully thought out and it has to have solid realistic goals set for it. In addition you need to determine a timeline for reaching those goals and a budget for you to work with. But with your plan in place success might just be at your fingertips.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cash Miller is an expert in small business affairs. To receive more tips that can help your business and let you to crush your competition you can sign up for his FREE Newsletter at http://www.smallbusinessdelivered.com/free-newsletter-signup.html. Once you've signed up you'll receive access to 5 FREE E-Books that can help your business prosper. And as a Bonus FREE Newsletter Members can expect to receive an additional FREE E-Book each week.