In my last post, I covered business plans and four of the most important elements to include in an abbreviated version. The same shorter process can be applied to another powerful type of planning — marketing. Here are some of the most important parts of a marketing plan that can be used for a new business or any business.
You can’t target everyone and expect to be successful; it’s impossible. You need to have an idea of your ideal clients or customers, then you need to do some market research to find out everything you can about them. This section should answer: Who are you targeting, specifically? What will they do, where will they live, what challenges will they have, where will you find them?
Your unique positioning statement is what will set you apart from the competition and provide clarity about how you want to present your products and services throughout your marketing copy. Answer the question: What does your business do better than anyone else can?
Now that you know what makes you unique, consider what will make your target clients decide to pick you over your competition. What value will you offer your target clients that they can’t get anywhere else? What will make them think the value they’re receiving surpasses the financial investment required?
Going back to the goals you outlined in your business planning, create marketing goals that match up. What will you need to achieve through your marketing activities that will help you reach your overall business goals?
This section could fit into your abbreviated business plan, but I personally like it kept in the marketing plan since the strategy you select will play a very significant role in how you create your marketing messages. Answer: What you will charge for your products/services? Why did you select that price point? What variations will you have on your standard pricing (coupons, discounts, etc.)?
A SWOT analysis in an opportunity for you to identify not only your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, but also that of your competition. The data you uncover can help you identify an untapped niche, formulate ideas for improving your marketing message and open your eyes to what your competition is doing.
Budget and Planning
Your marketing budget plays a big role in how you will execute your marketing plan. In this section, outline what you intend to spend on marketing each month, then break down the actual actions you will take. This can be expanded into a dedicated marketing action list that you refer to on an ongoing basis.
The good news is, you can create an effective marketing campaign, even with a small marketing budget. It all starts with the plan which you’ve already started here; add a little creativity and you may come up with some very effective ways to put your marketing plan into action.
Image credit: kikashi
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