In small businesses, marketing plan development can make or break you. It is important not to become too stagnant and to always be moving forward. When developing your business’ marketing plan, here are some important things to consider.
- Who is your target customer? Understanding your customer is one of the most important and critical strategies that will inform the way you market your products or services. Are you targeting teenagers with extra money to spend on the newest fad? Or, are you targeting adults who are more logical with their purchases? Is your audience wide or is it niche? Marketing to young children is different than marketing to their parents. The strategies used to reach Millennials are vastly different than the approaches you would take to attract Baby Boomers. Hone in on the person you are trying to reach with your marketing communications, and create a strategy that allows you to engage them directly and meaningfully.
- What solutions do your products or services offer? People want to know what your products or services can do that others cannot. Does your product or service make someone’s life easier?? Does it save time? What makes your product/service worth the purchase? Is there something special about your product? Define and be able to articulate what makes you stand out from your competitors and incorporate that into your marketing plan.
- What resources do you have? When fleshing out your marketing plan, you have to consider what assets your company has available. Would it be more cost-effective to focus your marketing efforts on direct mail marketing or on building an online presence? What if you did both? Do you have the staff to be able to manage both? Will you be using a distribution and design/printing service, or will those be things that you will have to contract out? Think of what you have and what you will need – and be realistic and honest with yourself – to accomplish your marketing goals.
- Where would you like to go? Don’t think of where you are now. The better, and more important question is where do you want to go with your business? What are your future goals? If your goal is to corner the market with your product, think of ways you can get there. If your goal is to double your number of clients, think of what you need to do to attract those clients. By setting goals and carefully considering how you can reach them, you will be able to craft a more clearly thought out marketing plan.
- What channels will you use to market yourself? One of the most important parts of any effective marketing plan is developing an integrated approach. Think about the different channels available to you to market your business and how you can integrate them to gain the most from your marketing efforts. Taken separately, social media, PR, or television advertising might not result in huge returns, but when used together you can strengthen your overall marketing plan.
To learn more about developing your own marketing plan, contact us. We know how to get you and your business where you want to go.