A good marketing plan is a document that details everything you need to know on how to successfully promote your business. Every entrepreneur knows your business needs a good marketing plan, but yet never values it when seeing one. A good marketing plan focuses on winning and keeping customers; it’s strategic and includes numbers, facts, and objectives. A good marketing plan spells out all the tools and tactics you’ll use to achieve your sales goals. It’s your plan of action — what you’ll sell, who’ll want to buy it, and the tactics you’ll use to generate leads that result in sales.
One of the vital parts of the plan is your marketing strategy is that it gives marketing the attention it deserves as it reveals opportunities from a new audience or potential product line, pitfalls in pricing, competition reaction, and potential reach. A good marketing plan describes who your customers are, where they get information, and how you expect to reach them.
Tips to Create a Good Business Marketing Plan
Every business success depends on a good marketing plan, as such below we are going to discuss a few important things to keep in mind as you create your plan in other to make it a good one, these tips are:
1. Know your niche.
In order to write a good marketing plan, you need to find and understand your niche. You needed to do this exact same thing when working on your marketing plan, so this first step shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, nobody knows your business quite as you do. Study the market to understand their struggles and learn how your business or product can solve the problem, Dee said. Research your target market by asking those within it.
Assume this is your opportunity to provide a general overview of your current business operations, as well as your internal and external environment. Then, describe any external opportunities you can capitalize on, such as an expanding market for your product. Don’t forget to include any external threats to your company’s ability to gain market share so that succeeding sections of your plan can detail the ways you’ll overcome those threats.
Positioning your product involves two steps. First, you need to analyze your product’s features and decide how they distinguish your product from its competitors. Second, decide what type of buyer is most likely to purchase your product. What are you selling? Convenience? Quality? Discount pricing? You can’t offer it all. Knowing what your customers want helps you decide what to offer, and that brings us to the next section of your plan.
2. Know your Target Customers
Know your target customer and figure out the core need that your product or service will meet as this is to be incurred in a good business marketing plan. This is it to help your customers get through the day more easily? Do their job more efficiently? Be respected and admired by friends? Your offering should be designed to solve client problems or meet customer needs better than the competition can. If you’re a business-to-business marketer, you may define your target customers by their type of business, job title, size of the business, geographic location, or any other characteristics that make them possible prospects. No matter who your target customer is, be sure to narrowly define them in this section because it will be your guide as you plan your media and public relations campaigns.
In this aspect of your marketing plan, you should list anything and everything you know about your ideal customer. This includes basic demographic information, such as gender and age. But you should also dig deeper into their behaviors and decisions such as; Why do they buy from you? What challenge or pain point are you solving for them? How do they spend their free time? What outlets do they turn to to get information? Gather any intel you can find, and include it in this section. Knowing your customer inside and out will be helpful when identifying marketing tactics and strategies.
3. Know your Competitors
No matter how original your product or service may be, there is always competition for your target customer. There are many companies out there doing something incredibly similar to yours, which means you’ll need to work that much harder to stand out. As a good business entrepreneur, you need to key it in your business marketing plan to take the time in studying your competitors in-depth or determine other competitors that may be outside your industry but are capable of luring your customers away.
Don’t get intimidated! This is something every business owner deals with. Sourcing for adequate knowledge about your competitors will be helpful in finding ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Conducting a thorough analysis of your competition will help you identify areas where you can beat the competition, fine-tune your niche market, and make sure you are prepared to address competitive challenges. Knowing who they are, what their core competitive advantages are, and how they will respond to your offering (price cuts, increased communication, etc.) will help you figure out strategies to combat such losses. You can start by describing the product or service you offer to consumers.
Spell out how your product or service measures up to the existing competition. What positions you as the one source clients or customers should turn to? What makes you different? As you might imagine, you’ll be able to leverage this differentiator to effectively market your business. It’s an important step in a good business marketing plan to not only gather all of the information you need about your competitor but to also demonstrate to any potential investors that you’re aware of your competition and prepared to tackle that challenge head-on.
4. Conduct Market Research
Another aspect of a good business marketing plan is to conduct quality market research about your niche in all prospects. To complete your research section, outline your primary marketing strategies, then include a variety of tactics you’ll use to reach prospects at any point in your sales cycle. For example, you might combine outdoor billboards, print advertising, and online local searches to reach cold prospects but use email to contact your warm prospects and videos to boost your sales.
Also, you need to conduct research on your customer’s source of information, identify their ideal marketing mix, find out which media your target customers turn to for information on the type of product or service you sell. Avoid broad-based media even if it attracts your target customers but the content isn’t relevant. The marketing tactics you choose must reach your prospects when they’ll be most receptive to your message.
5. Identify your Niche Position to your Customers
You should be able to write down a simple declarative sentence of how you will meet customer needs and beat the competition. The best positioning statements are those that are single-minded and focus on solving a problem for the customer in a way that promotes the best value, your brand, and what it symbolizes for customers will be your strongest competitive advantage.
Your hottest prospects are individuals who’ve been exposed to your sales and marketing messages and are ready to close a sale. Generally, interpersonal sales contact (whether in person, by phone, or email) combined with marketing adds the final heat necessary to close sales. Those who’ve previously been exposed to your marketing message and perhaps even met you personally — will respond best to permission-based email, loyalty programs, and customer appreciation events, among others.
6. Know your Charges, and Why
It is good to spend more time researching the best price point for your products and services. As part of a good marketing plan for your business, pricing information, including payment details, and rentages details should be included in the plan. Give a good overview of your product or service pricing in the pricing section of your business marketing plan, and consider how other factors such as demand and supply can impact price.
In most cases, you want to be able to support your price points by providing your customers with a clear idea of the value and benefits they receive in return. A high-value proposition often leads a customer to make a purchase.
7. Set a Budget
Budget is one of the essential tools in a good marketing plan when it comes to running a business. In the business marketing plan, always stay focused strictly on marketing-related activities, how much do you plan to spend on marketing, promotion, media, and publication throughout the year, and how much will the action items you listed above cost you? Most importantly, where will the money come from?
Besides the yearly budget, you should also break it down into separate monthly budgets so that you can track results and modify the promotional plan to focus on the activities that provide you with the biggest return on investment.
How to Reach your Target Market
It is essential to figure out how you are going to reach that target customer. Aside from traditional print and good broadcast media. Your business marketing plan should cover how your product or service will be sold. How you’ll let your target market know about your offer and customer service plans. When it comes to reaching out to your market, you should combine a variety of marketing activities, such as:
1. Social media
Social media has become an essential part of businesses’ marketing plans. Every type of customer is on some type of platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or LinkedIn. Small business owners may feel overwhelmed at the possibilities but should focus on the ones that can benefit them the most.
Make adequate research on various social media to get to know your customers and what platforms they use. Found out which social media platform your customers are spending their time, and set up shop on those platforms, develop a content plan that can be executed internally, and then implement the plan by posting branded content on your selected social media platforms.
Though email marketing may not be as new a concept as social media marketing, it is an effective and popular choice for small business owners. Entrepreneurs can implement email marketing techniques in a number of ways, including newsletters, promotional campaigns, and transactional emails. For instance, MailChimp and Constant Contact help companies to manage their email campaigns.
Not every subscriber wants to receive your email campaign, so take the time to segment subscribers at the outset, and then continue to segment based on subscriber activity. Through segmentation, you can reduce the amount of unsubscribes, increase open rates, and, most importantly, increase the number of actions taken from an email sent.
3. Mobile Marketing
The advent of smartphones and tablets has changed the way companies target their customers. Since people have devices with them nearly all the time, companies are looking to implement strategies that reach customers on their gadgets. Through the various apps, you can reach your target customers on their mobile phones.
Building a profitable business results from a good marketing plan, dedication, hard work, and persistence. Planning, execution, and evaluation are all parts of running a successful small business. The best way to implement your marketing plan is to start from somewhere, create a plan, follow it, furnish it, update it, and always use it as your guide for your business till it becomes a success. After that, set up to hit more challenging goals, employ more teams, and take on more projects.
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