No matter how great your product or services are, if people do not know what you are offering, they are not going to buy it.
This is why it is important to have a well developed marketing plan in place before you launch a new product or company, or before you start investing in marketing products. Fortunately, developing a marketing plan is not difficult. Here are the basic steps:
There are a number of limits and boundaries that you need to establish for your marketing plan.
The first limit is the time frame that the marketing plan will be good for. For example, I usually set the time limit for my marketing plan at one year. You can set your limits at any time frame you want, e.g. one month, one quarter, one semester or one year.
The next limit to establish is the budgetary limit. It is important to determine how much money you can afford to spend on your marketing.
The final limit will relate to the target demographic that you are interested in tempting with your marketing. Here you will want to determine who your customers will be, e.g. teens, mothers, men 18-35, women 25-35, etc.
At the base of each marketing product will be a pitch for your product.
This pitch needs to attract positive attention to your item‘s or service’s best or most unique features, e.g. low cost, speed, durability or design. For this component of your marketing plan, you need to identify all the marketing qualities of your product, as well as define a description that you want to use in your ads. You can also come up with slogans that you can use to promote your products.
The next step is to determine what marketing options you want to use.
It is always a good idea to have some sort of print ad for your product or service. This print marketing product can be used to both promote your product, as well as to point consumers to your website where they can find more information about what you have to offer. Online advertising is a great option for modern entrepreneurs. Here you will want to focus on developing an interactive website with shopping cart capabilities, social networking and viral marketing strategies.
Now you can put everything together in a timeline.
Identify when you want to accomplish each step, when certain campaigns will be launched and when you will review the progress that your campaign is making. The timeline will help to keep you on track.
Organization is the key to running a successful small business.
To keep your marketing plan organized, all you need is a simple three ringed binder and some tab dividers. In the back of your folder keep blank pages where you can write down notes related to steps that you have taken to promote your products or services, problems that you have come up against and new ideas that you want to implement. It is a good idea to review your marketing plan at least once a year, but quarterly is even better.