Friday, June 10, 2016

11 Point Marketing Plan

So many consultants make a marketing plan sound so complex that the average business owner won't understand what they are talking about. So I thought I would put down the 11 most necessary things that should be in your marketing plan to at least get you started and give you some idea of where you are going. I could obviously write a book or eleven about the subject so be aware there is a lot more to it. But here is a very uncomplicated version. Some look old school, but they are there because they work.

1. Market Research- This will save you a lot of time. Your business idea may already exist, not be profitable enough for your interest... Here is some of the research that needs to be done:

  • Demographics
  • Existing competition and sales
  • Existing products/services
  • Existing Pricing and Demand
  • Needs for your product or services. Yes, this is different than demand. 
  • Suppliers

Don't start #2-10 until you have done #1, but keep the rest in mind while doing #1.

2. Target Market

  • What part of the market are you going after? Are you going for a niche?

3. Product

  • How does your product compare against what is currently available? How is it different?

4. Competition

  • Who is your competition and what makes you different? How does your approach differ?

5. Core Values and Mission Statement

  • Talk about your customer, your product and what makes you different. Talk about your "Why". Why do you do what you do? Partner with Bigger Than Cancer or local schools? 

6. Marketing Strategies

  • What is your greatest opportunity? Where is the gap between you and your competition?
  • Will you hold trade shows? Partner with Bigger Than Cancer? Local Schools? Will kids sell your product as a fund raiser? Training programs? How will you hit a niche or a market your competition is not?
  • How will you create a buying opportunity your competitor cannot? 

7. Pricing and Positioning

  • This should be obvious from the info you got from your research in #1

8. Branding

  • This is your corporate identity and who you are. Starbucks is a consistent product with a power outlet and internet connection. Atmosphere is casual but professional to attract business meetings and professionals. You know you will pay more, but will sit with a different crowd and won't be interrupted by screaming kids.   

9. Budget

  • What is it going to take to run your strategy and how quickly do you need to execute that strategy? A strategy doesn't have to break the bank. 

10. Marketing Goals

  • What do you want to accomplish? What are realistic, quantifiable goals?

11. Monitor Results

  • Track your sales, lead flow, trffic, conversion ratios, 
  • Everything CRM, if you are too small for a CRM use Evernote, Google Docs, something! You cannot track your conversion ratios if you are not capturing contact info and following potential clients through the process. 
  • Yes, surveying clients still works but is based on their honesty so it is best to have a third party do the asking. 
  • DEFINITELY encourage and reward your clients for online reviews. One client, a small carpet cleaning company had a tiny budget and that is all we did for them the first year. It was ridiculously successful. 

If you have questions about any of the above either email me at here or visit our website here