It is, for the most part, common knowledge that when you are starting your own business, you need to have a business plan. What many new entrepreneurs are not aware of, though, is that you also need to have an effective business marketing plan.
While it sounds similar to the business plan, it is something that is quite different but imperative to the success of your business.
A business marketing plan is a strategy that helps you to identify where you want your company to grow to. It gives a clear and concise outline of where your business is going and what you need to do to get it to that arrival point.
The best way to build a solid foundation in business marketing is to use the building blocks of extensive research. When building a marketing plan, endeavour to be fully versed in all aspects of your business, including but not limited to your brand, ensuring you know who your target audience is going to be and what exactly it is that your business has to offer.
3. Identify your target market
This sounds like a simple step but this is one of the most crucial steps when putting together a truly effective business marketing plan. Without this step, you wouldn’t know how to reach the people that need the product or services which you are offering.
With millions of people out there, how do you know which of them fall into your target market? For starters, look at the kind of products and services you are offering. Think about who would benefit most from them, what is the general demographic of your target market?
This is where the research really comes in handy as you will need to really dig deep to make sure you are going to be targeting the right market. Find out what kinds of products or services they currently use, find out their needs and preferences.
Once you know what makes them tick, you will be able to design marketing content that will speak directly to these customers and will boost your brand. When you have a specific target market, it will also allow you to produce content that provides answers, as well as allowing you to craft specific and personalized marketing campaigns.
2. Set clear, realistic goals with your budget
This is kind of a two step point in one as they go hand in hand. You need to have clear goals so that you know where you will be spending your marketing budget, but you need to have a marketing budget in order to reach those goals.
If you set unrealistic goals that are way out of reach, it will only lead to despondency and a feeling that you have failed to make a success of your business venture. Setting realistic and very clear goals will help you to be prepared and will also contribute to your attaining those goals.
It’s important that you know exactly how much you are prepared to spend on marketing campaigns and what steps you need to take to achieve your goals. A good outline to follow when setting up goals is to set them up the SMART way.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Your goals need to be specific (when setting these, a good practice is to remember the five “W” questions — Who, What, Where, When and Why), they also need to be able to be measured. As mentioned before, be realistic when setting your goals — they need to be reachable, attainable. Measure your progress by checking on progress reports, target numbers and sales reports.
All of your goals ought to be relevant to your overall business plan. Keep an eye on developing trends as these can also have a major effect on your business.
Time is always a factor so set up deadlines for yourself of when you want to have attained your goals. This last is a most important factor because if you leave it blank you will never have the drive to complete your goals.
1. Draw up an action plan (with detail, too)
The key to a successful marketing strategy lies in the execution of that strategy. In order to be better prepared for carrying out your marketing plan, you need to draw up an action plan. This will give you clear steps on how to bring your whole marketing plan to fruition.
Endeavour to ensure that you have everything you could possibly need in order to carry out and complete your marketing strategy. This includes giving yourself an adequate amount of time to achieve your goals and complete your marketing strategy.
Another crucial aspect of this action plan is to make it very clear to everyone what their job in the overall marketing strategy is. Each person needs to know what they are there for and what they need to be doing. This will ensure greater success in the long run, as well as avoid misunderstandings. Having proper communication is a pivotal point for all business owners.
By having an action plan, you can ensure that your business marketing plan will actually get put into action and bear fruits.
Learn from your mistakes
In closing, there is one last important factor which you would do well to note …
Even in mistakes there is growth. When we learn from our mistakes, we are able to come back stronger and more determined in the next round. Don’t ever accept defeat. If you aren’t getting the results you want, take a good look at what you have been doing and then make necessary changes.
Just don’t throw in the towel and give up. Every successful business owner will tell you that it took them years to get to where they are today and it did not come easy. And if they are honest they will tell you that they made a lot of mistakes and then learned from them.
If you follow these three simple steps you will be able to come up with a really effective business marketing plan which will bring growth when implemented.