Every business, no matter the size, needs to have a marketing plan. How are people going to hear about your product or service? Don’t leave it up to chance. It’s important to define your brand message and then your marketing plan determines how you will share it with the world.
Whom are you trying to reach? It’s best to be as specific as possible when describing your target market. Start with basic demographics: age, social economic class, education level, income, etc. Then add any other features that describe this audience. For example, if you are selling organic food items, you will want to include people who practice holistic habits.
People often confuse positioning statements with slogans or taglines. Simply put, a positioning statement is the description of what your business offers, how it meets the needs of your target audience and what sets you apart from your competitors
Offering to customers
This is where you define any special offers that might entice new customers or excite current ones. This will vary depending on your specific business.
It’s important to have a solid plan and justification for your pricing. Don’t assume the lower prices always drive the sales. For example, some customers are happy to pay a little more if they are receiving a higher quality of service or the shopping experience is more pleasant. Be sure to determine all of your costs before you set your price point.
How will people receive your goods or services? Is this a retail space where you thrive on face-to-face customers or are you connecting online? A combination? Determine how you will distribute your offerings. Re-evaluate and adjust as needed.
Your Sales Strategy will determine how you attract new business. Don’t just start placing newspaper ads or purchasing random ads. It will be helpful to create a sample advertising plan outline where you will carefully budget and determine your marketing goals. Learn about buying local ads on a budget by reading further on this blog.
Promotions are activities that provide publicity for your company. Have you ever received a pen from a local business that has their hours, number and/or web address printed on it? Those are part of their promotional strategy. Some promotions run long-term, such as the purchase of a sponsored sign at your local little league park. Others might be very short, for example, handing out water bottles with your logo on them at a 5K.
You need to be a student of your industry and have full understanding of what is linking your product or service to your customers. What are the processes? What are the trends? Where and when do people make their buying decisions? Thorough market research will help to identify opportunities and direct your future marketing plans.
In closing, don’t hesitate to seek help from marketing professionals if you want to ensure your success. Working with a professional can be financially advantageous because it helps to avoid costly mistakes and identifies profitable opportunities. Don’t leave your marketing up to chance. Take control of the message you want to send to the world and have a solid marketing plan in place.