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No doubt about it, a sound and strong marketing plan is the key to the success of your business marketing.
The simple fact is that Entrepreneur Success is not just about making great products or offering excellent services, it’s also about marketing and getting your startup in front of your potential customers.
Everyone knows that your business needs customers to survive, can you deny that?
But how do you get people to buy from you if they don’t know your business exists? This is where having a strong startup marketing plan will be of a great benefit.
Essential components for your startup marketing plan
So what should be in your startup marketing plan? How will you make your marketing plan work? These are the kind of questions you will be confronted with while working on your startup marketing plan.
What should be in your marketing plan? Well, it should include your market research, your location and the customer group you have targeted. Your marketing plan should also include your competition, positioning, the product or service you are selling, pricing, advertising, and promotion.
If you want your business marketing to be successful, effective marketing, planning, and promotion begin with current information about the marketplace.
Start your business marketing from within the local community where your business is situated. Visit your local library, talk to customers, study the advertising of other businesses in your community, and consult with any relevant industry associations.
This interactive tool will help you assess your marketing strengths and weaknesses. Once you have all the necessary information, write down your plan as follows:
#1]. Define your business
How do you define your business? How will people differentiate your business from your competitors? Your business definition starts from the kind of products or services that your business offers.
What does your business offer? How does it different from what other businesses are offering?
Another thing you have to care about is your geographic marketing area, which includes whether your targeted catchment area is just within the neighbourhood, regional or national.
Also, you will have to take your competitors into consideration. How does your business differ from the competition – what makes you special? Your price?
Your business promotion methods and your competition’s promotion methods? Your distribution methods or business location?
#2]. Get your customers definition right
Customers are the integral part of every successful business. No doubt about it, every business needs customers to survive and this is why it’s very important for you to be able to define your customers.
So, do you know who your customers are? What is your current customer base; their age, sex, income, and neighbourhood?
Also, you should be able to know how your customers learn about your product or service. You ought to know whether your customers get you through such marketing channels as advertising, direct mail, word of mouth, Yellow Pages and others.
This is essential because it will give you the opportunity to know which of the marketing channels bring the most customers.
Another thing you should know about your customer is the qualities your they value most about your product or service – selection, convenience, service, reliability, availability, affordability.
This will enable you to make proper adjustments where necessary to serve your customers better.
#3]. Define your business marketing plan and budget
When it comes to business marketing, nothing is as essential as having a proper plan and budget. As a small business owner, you should be able to define your marketing plan and budget.
If properly defined, your business marketing plan will offer you the opportunity to have such knowledge as for how much you marketing strategies will cost compared to sales. You will also be able to evaluate the cost per customer.
Every successful marketing plan relies on a good budget. No matter how small your business may be, there is no way you can make your business marketing plan work without a considerable amount of money.
#4]. Define your business overall promotional objectives
What do you want to achieve with your marketing plan? Another essential component in your marketing plan should be your overall promotional objectives: to communicate your message, create an awareness of your product or service.
Your objectives could also be to motivate customers to buy and increase sales, or other specific targets. When your customers are motivated to buy, the end results will usually be sales and revenue generation.
Your marketing objectives will make it easier to design an effective campaign and help you keep that campaign on the right track. Once you have defined your objectives, it is easier to choose the method that will be most effective.
#5]. Define marketing tools that can fit your budget
Having defined and planned your startup marketing budget, you will have to also define the marketing tools you can implement within your budget.
Depending on your marketing budget, marketing tools such as newspaper, magazine or Yellow Pages advertising; radio or television advertising; direct mail; telemarketing and others can be implemented.
This will be particularly useful when it comes to investing in effective marketing strategies. Social media marketing and public relations activities such as community involvement, sponsorship or press releases are also great marketing tools you can use.
#6]. Monitor, measure and improve your marketing campaign
Measuring your marketing campaign is also essential because that is the only way to determine the effectiveness of what you are doing and its impacts on your business.
So, having mobilised your startup marketing campaign, your marketing analytics have to be closely monitored.
This means you should always monitor the traffic source to your business website, visitor’s activities and the time spent on the site. So, how well are you monitoring this?
Also, don’t forget to check the conversions, and determine how much improvement you have noticed since the beginning of your marketing campaign.
For you to be able to improve on your marketing strategies, you should compare your campaign so that you can determine which of the campaigns drive the most traffic, and then improve on weak areas and feed the strong areas well.