Small business owners don't put together a business plan let alone a marketing plan but if you ask these same business owners what their #1 concern with their business has to do with marketing and sales. I am not sure why we don't put marketing plans together. Maybe it's apathy, laziness or just the hope that the problem will work itself out on its own. A good marketing plan can be broken down into 4 main components.
Assess Your Business
The first thing that you need to do to put together your marketing plan is take a look at where your business is. If you have a business plan put together, most of your questions have been answered. Some questions you ask in this phase and information you have put together are:
- Market research: how much do you know about the market for your business.
- Your customers: What do they value? How do they want to be communicated to? Who is your customer?
- Mission, vision and values: You have to know where your business is going and why.
- Target market- what niche can you excel in? The more specific, the better.
- USP- What makes our business different
- Who do I know?
- Budget- what can you set aside for marketing
In the framework, this where you set your parameters. What are your goals with your marketing, short-term and long? How long do you work with a client? How long does it take to get a new client? What's my budget? What channels will I use to market (social media, blogging, SEO, PPC etc)
In this phase you start outlining specifics. What segments do you have in your client base? How will you bring each one along in the buying process? Will you do a free newsletter and then offer a $39 product?
What channels are you going to use to get them? What ones are you passionate about? Don't use a marketing channel that you hate and if you hate all online marketing channels, hire someone who loves them.
Put testing into your plan. What prices work best? What channels are working and what aren't?
We just talked about testing and that is important in this phase. It's important that you have a way to track how each channel, that you are marketing from, is performing. Make sure that you have a set time that is frequent where you can evaluate your marketing efforts.
Putting together a marketing plan is a great way to really discover some great things about your business. You will find out who your customer really is, what your offering is and what channels work best to distribute your message. Get your plan in place today with these 4 components in mind.