How To Write A Marketing Plan For Your Business
Aiden Sookdin, Author, The Minimum Wage Millionaire, 22 Feb. 2016
When you start your own business or are just thinking of starting one, the first and wisest thing to do is plan strategically ahead. This means creating a solid business plan and an accompanying marketing plan, which should cover the main areas of your future business and respond to all possible concerns. The marketing plan is crucial, as it offers you and your investors or business partners a clear perspective of your marketing goals and how you plan to achieve them.
The marketing plan helps you understand the market which you are entering, your target customers, and it helps define the most efficient strategies to implement in order to attract as many customers as possible, loyalize existing customers and work towards the end result: drastically increasing your profits.
The first thing you need to establish in your marketing plan is your main objective. Do you wish to expand your existing business, attract more customers, promote a new product line, or make sure your existing customers remain loyal to your company? At this point, it would be recommended to develop a SWOT analysis, where you would determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats your business will face.
When you have a clear image of your brand’s vision, know your strengths and weaknesses, and set clear, measurable goals, then you are indeed ready to develop a marketing strategy.
Start by defining your marketing objectives and provide measurable, trackable points of reference, such as number of visitors on your site, quantity of products to be sold, number of customers you wish to attract in a 3-month period, etc. Do not set goals without also providing a reasonable deadline for completion.
When creating your marketing plan, you should also focus on the market trends. You need to gather enough information on your target market and industry, so that you will be able to foresee future trends and anticipate customer needs.
When analyzing your target market, take into consideration criteria such as: age, demographics, marital status, social status, all preferences, likes and dislikes, motivations, goals, favourite activities, and so on. Be as thorough as possible, as you need to be able to really “feel” your target audience in order to deliver suitable, customized products and services.
Let’s not forget about marketing strategies, which you will need to implement in order to increase profit. These strategies will depend on the products or services you are selling, the location, the target market, the promotional methods at your disposal, the prices, etc. Focus on keeping your existing customers satisfied, as they are more valuable than new ones, but don’t neglect future customers either.
Plan everything strategically, by defining the prices, the locations, the products, and the means of achieving your marketing objectives. Don’t forget about your competition: determine how you will position yourself against it. Remain flexible throughout the entire process, as your marketing strategies may change.
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