Develop An Effective Marketing Plan To Ensure Your Business Success

A successful business is raised on the foundation of a great marketing plan. Selling is the most crucial and also the most difficult aspect of any business. Marketing of a product or service is real hard work and a good marketing plan is what ensures that the hard work bears fruit. It outlines how a business will go about attracting prospects, converting them into customers and retaining these customers in the long run.

Marketing plans and strategies are ever-evolving and have to be drawn up to fit the situation and its specific needs. They are required at whatever stage a business might be. Whether you are a start-up or an established business, you must have an effective marketing plan. To have a successful marketing plan, you will have to consider the following essential elements

  • Analyzing the Market: You cannot afford to operate on the basis of assumptions about the market and customers. You need to conduct a thorough analysis of the prevailing market environments, your strengths & weaknesses and the existing competition. Study your target customers and get in-depth knowledge of their needs and preferences. Based on this, you can determine your marketing objectives and position your product suitably.
  • Creating Marketing Messages & Determining Marketing Methods: Once your product profile matches the customer profile, you have to plan how to sell the product to the target market. You have to come up creative, meaningful and compelling messages that address the expectations and requirements of your audience. Select the most effective mediums of conveying these marketing messages. A variety of online and offline marketing tools are available. For best results, you will have to use a judicious mix of conventional and online marketing techniques.
  • Planning and Monitoring the Budget: A marketing budget planned to the smallest of details is very essential in a marketing plan. You have to be realistic and exact, and base the budget on your goals. You will also have to monitor the budget, track the expenses and analyze the spending on a budgeted and actual’ basis.
  • Evaluating and Reviewing the Plan: Decide a time-frame for your marketing plan and determine the metrics on which you will measure its success. Measure the results it produces and compare them with the expected success. This will help to know whether any corrections or modifications are required to make the plan more successful.

A strategic marketing plan is the secret behind every successful business. If you are not satisfied with the results of your marketing tactics, consult a professional marketing agency that can devise a targeted marketing plan to help improve your business and increase the sales. A reliable and comprehensive online local business directory is your best source for finding a capable and experienced marketing expert servicing your area.

Marketing Plan: Why All Small Businesses Need A Solid Plan!

“Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.”Lester R. Bittel

Recently, I offered a marketing plan review as a door prize for a local business group. When I approached the winner to exchange information, she whispered that she didn’t have a written one; she had it stored in her head. She then asked it a marketing plan was even necessary.

Should Your Small Business Have A Marketing Plan?

Absolutely! In fact, as a small business consultant, I’ve encountered numerous clients who repeatedly make the same mistake… failing to have a plan ‘business or marketing’ in place.

In a recent survey, I asked 200 respondents, ‘of the many issues facing their businesses, what common road blocks hindered their business growth.’ An overwhelming 32% said ‘No Marketing Plan’ was a potential reason for lack of sales and growth.

Why Marketing Plan?

Well, a marketing plan is a road map that details a route you should take to successfully promote and expand your business. It is critical to the success of a business, in fact, to all businesses! If a small business wants to achieve its potential, a marketing plan must be implemented!

Marketing is more than just ordering business cards or creating a flyer, it’s how you communicate with your current and potential clients. It is important to get your name out in the business community and differentiate your products and services from that of your competitor. If you don’t market your products or services, how will people know that you are a serious business owner or worse, in business? With a marketing plan, you will have a game plan in place.

A marketing plan is an integral and valuable tool for determining success of your business and the overall direction that your product or service should be taking. It should:

  • Clarify the impact and results of past marketing decisions.
  • Elucidate the external market that a company is competing.
  • Include deadlines for meeting those targets.
  • Prepare a budget for all marketing activities.
  • Set objectives and provide path for future marketing efforts.
  • Require accountability and measures for all activities.

6 Key Components of a Marketing Plan

Market Research

Gather information about your target market to include competition, business and industry environment.

When researching, answer the following questions:

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. What do they want or need?
  3. What is important to them?
  4. Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  5. What is your businesses environment, locally, regionally, and nationally?
  6. Is your industry doing well?

Target Market

Potential customers who have issues that or problems which your products or services can fulfill. Generally, people in this segment possess common characteristics and a relatively high tendency to purchase a particular product or service. Included in a target market are demographic, geographic and psychographic characteristics.

Executive Summary

A brief summary which includes the main points of the plan; generally shared with people you approach with your plan, such as investors or lenders who may want to read a synthesized version to determine if they are interested in it before taking the time to read it in depth.

Situation Analysis

The evaluation of operations to determine the reasons for the gap between what was or is expected, and what has happened or will happen.

SWOT Analysis

A formal outline to identify and frame a company’s’ growth opportunities; SWOT is an acronym for an organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats.

Marketing Strategy

A process that allows a company’s to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Budget

Estimates tied to specific allocation of revenues. A budget is required to have a successful marketing plan.

  • Yearly marketing budget
  • Expected return after investment
  • Breakdown of expected expenditures

In conclusion, as you can see, a marketing plan serves as your roadmap. It is critical for the success of your business. If writing a marketing plan seems a little intimidating, click here for FREE tools to help you.

Planning for the Discovery Meeting for Your Free Marketing Plan

If you plan on taking advantage of the offer for a free marketing plan, then you need to know what you have to get together before you have the discovery meeting with your consultant. Your consultant will then create your free marketing plan that will include recommendations for what additional marketing services can help your business.

What is a discovery meeting?

The discovery meeting brings you and the marketing professional together to talk about different marketing services offered. They will be looking to understand your business better – in its current state and your future vision. The marketing consultant will also explain the variety of marketing services offered so you will be better able to understand the final marketing plan when it is delivered.

What are some of the marketing services offered?

Marketing services go far beyond keyword research and website optimization. It can include everything from brand development, SEO consultation, telemarketing services, email marketing, white papers, publishing and more. A marketing plan doesn’t create a path from point A to Point B; it takes a dynamic approach to identifying the influences on your demographic to then create a multi-channel marketing web that is specific to your brand, product or service.

What do I need to have ready?

To prepare for your discovery meeting you first have to contact Marketing.com using their online form, chat option, or via email or phone. They will want a brief overview of your product and services, and then they will schedule the discovery meeting. For the discovery meeting you will want to bring along:

• The existing marketing plan or strategy
• Analysis reports
• SEO strategies
• Product/service descriptions
• Development descriptions
• Demographic information

The marketing professional will then be able to look at these and ask more specific questions to gain insight into what would be the best marketing services to include in your plan.

What makes up a marketing plan?

The marketing plan is the overview of multi-channel approaches you should be implementing to develop and retain your prospects. It may include a call for brand development and demand generation as well. If your existing strategy is somewhat successful, but you want to grow – the marketing services it recommends may be more focused on customer relations – such as social media marketing, email marketing and telemarketing services.

What happens next?

After your discovery meeting, your consultant will complete and finish your free marketing plan for you. Once you have reviewed the plan, it is time to decide what will be your strategy of implementation. This can involve an analysis of your competition to begin to prioritize what areas of your marketing need the most attention first. The strategies are considered dynamic and are responsive to the ongoing data analysis of your SEO performance that you should be collecting and reviewing on a regular basis. With your marketing plan to guide you with marketing services that will be effective for your business, you can increase your presence, influence and retention quickly.