Creating a solid marketing plan can help you push your business forward at a staggering pace, however traditionally takes lots of time, energy and effort to prepare. However I’m over the years I’ve learnt that the simpler and more direct your marketing plan, the more likely you are to implement and follow it. As with most things, if you make it too difficult and convoluted, you’re going to be unlikely to put it into practice. However if you create a solid marketing plan that is short, to the point, you’re going to implement it and improve your business.
In order to create a kick action marketing plan you’ll need to gather the following information.
Identify Your Target Audience
All marketing starts with knowing who your target audience is, if you don’t know you need to select your best customer and then find out everything you can about them. You should be able to write a short, two to three sentence synopsis that works as a profile of your ideal customer. Such as, “Sharon is a 33 year old divorced, single mother of one toddler who wants to earn extra money working from home. She has some college education, is socially active and has an income between the range of $26,000 and $33,000 per year and little free time.”
Once you have this, work out what problems, concerns and worries your target customers have, how you solve them, barriers to purchase, etc… add these to your demographic data and you have a few useful audience personas you can use.
Research Your Market
Understanding all the different faucets of your audience and segments within your audience, will also help you market better to your future clients, and attract your current clients to buy more. Having a deep knowledge of the industry your target market operates in (your niche) can really go far in helping you reach your target audience with your marketing materials.
Identify Your Product or Service
People predominantly buy because your product or service solves a problem your target audience is experiencing, the bigger the problem you solve the easier it is to make sales, so understand what problems your solve because you’re not selling widgets, you’re actually selling solutions to the problems your clients are experiencing.
Determine Product Placement and Pricing
Price your product or service based on the description of your target audience persona, as well as the cost of production of your product or the time it takes you to perform the service. I’ve moved slightly award from this in that I now charge for solutions, the bigger problem I solve the higher price I charge for the solution, by doing this it allows me to leverage off of my many years of experience.
Study Your Competition
Knowing what your competition is doing, how they’re pricing, how they’re marketing, where they’re marketing and more will help you find a way to do whatever it is that they do, but better. I love working out what my competitors are doing, knowing that I add in as much value as I possibly can means that I can often charge more than double my competitors and still have clients waiting to use my services.
Determine Your Vision and Mission
Believe it or not, part of your marketing plan should consider the vision you have for your business, and especially your life and the lifestyle you and your family want to live. Create a mission statement that you can look at whenever you’re unsure of your direction. Ensure that your actions match your vision and mission, and you can’t go wrong.
Work Out a Realistic Marketing Budget
A marketing budget is necessary to keep you not only in line with potential earnings, but also to make sure you do spend enough money on marketing. You may need to spend money on website design, pay per click advertising, content marketing, and every marketing activity you determine you need to do to reach and engage your target audience.
Create Marketing Goals and Objectives
You can’t create one plan that covers everything, you will need separate plans for each goal in order to reach your objectives. Create a content marketing plan for product A that is different from your plan for product B. Know why you are doing something, be it content creation or social media participation and try to determine your return on investment.
Identify Marketing Strategies and Tactics
Will you use content marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click marketing, Facebook advertisements or a combination of all of the above to market your product or service? Decide what, when, where, why and how you’ll accomplish each.
Test and Monitor Your Results
With any marketing you do, it’s important to have goals and objectives. You’ll need to set up mechanisms to test whether or not the actions you’re doing are meeting those objectives and delivering your target returns on investment.
Setting up your marketing plan requires a little work and thought, but it’s actually fun and it will be more than worth it, because it is essential and will act as a road map for your business success and of course you can always contact me for help and advice.