A business plan is absolute must when starting and running a profitable business and every entrepreneur should know this. But a marketing plan is just as important and needs to coincide with the original business plan put in place in order to build brand recognition and get people to develop trust with your company.
A marketing plan differs from a business plan in that it is focused on acquiring and retaining customers and has clear objectives to do so. Here are some tips to creating a viable marketing plan for your business.
1. Assess Your Company’s Situation
Your first step is to define exactly what it is that your company does, and outlines its products or services. Then, stipulate exactly how these products and services can benefit people and how they make you stand out from the competition. Understand your target market and assess whether or not your products and services provide exactly what they need and want. Analyze your company’s strengths and weaknesses and make any necessary adjustments. Go here to learn more about marketing for your business.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Who is your ideal customer? Define the demographics of your audience, including their age, sex, income, location, and family make-up. Are you targeting entrepreneurs or consumers? Narrowly defining your audience will make it a lot easier and more efficient for you to market specifically to this particular demographic instead of just blanketing your advertising to everyone.
3. List the Marketing Tactics That You Will Implement
After you’ve determined your needs and goals, it’s time to determine what tools you’ll use to get your message across effectively. Identify which media outlets will resonate most with your target audience. Don’t blanket your message with broad-based media if it won’t be relevant. Instead, choose marketing strategies and tools that will successfully reach your target prospects, and at strategic times when they will be highly receptive to what you’re conveying to them.
4. Determine Your Overall Budget for Marketing
Advertising obviously costs money, but how much you’re willing and able to dedicate to your marketing strategy needs to be assessed. Dedicate a certain percentage of your gross sales to your marketing budget. If possible, consider accessing some sort of financing to fund your marketing endeavors, as this is an absolutely critical part of your overall business.
A marketing plan is critical to any business endeavor, so be sure to implement one early on to increase your odds of success!