Every small business owner knows that in order to succeed in business you need a plan. A Marketing plan will not only give you focus and direction, it will help you reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. It will also save you thousands of dollars by preventing you from investing in all the wrong marketing strategies and techniques.
You may not have the Marketing Analyst expertise or be able to afford a Marketing Consultant to create a professional marketing plan, but that shouldn’t prevent you from having something. A starter marketing plan is better than no marketing plan.
Here are 6 easy steps to creating a 60-minute marketing plan.
Step 1: Who Buys Your Product or Service
I don’t just mean “women”, “men”, “homeowners”, or “business owners”. I mean knowing your target market as well as you know your best friend. Step 1 of your 60-minute marketing plan: think about your 10 best clients and write down every single tiny detail you know about them. Now find the commonalities. Congratulations, you have a target market. You should have at least 20 characteristics.
Step 2: Why Do They Buy Your Product or Service
What problem, need or desire does your product or service deliver? Dig deep here and look for the emotional reasons. Not just the “it’s broken”, “they need one” reason, but the underlying benefit it will have to their lives. This is your value statement.
Step 3: Why Do Your Customers Buy from You
Knowing why they choose you over your competitors is critical if you want to stand apart from your competition and NOT compete on price. Ask your best customers why they chose you over the other choices they had and write the most common answer down. This is your differentiation statement.
Step 4: What Was Their Process for Finding What You Sell
Knowing how they research and shop for your products and services will give you clues on where to spend your marketing and advertising budget. If you ask 10 customers and 8 of them say they go to Yelp reviews, then you know to invest your time and effort into Yelp. If they spend all their time on Facebook, then focus on Facebook. If they read the newspaper or a certain magazine, advertise there. Asking this question can save you a bundle in the long run by focusing on the right places to promote your business.
Step 5: Study Your Competition
Who do you consistently lose work to? Who else in the marketplace says they do what you do? Write down the name of your 3 closest competitors. Note what their core offering is, what they do well, what they don’t do well and then find a way to fill in any gaps.
Step 6: Put Your Marketing Plan Together
Once you’ve done these 5 steps you’ll have a clear picture of who you need to target, what your marketing message needs to be to engage them, where to reach them, and how to encourage them to choose you over your competition. Now write all your answers on one page and use this as your guide for all marketing decisions you make. I guarantee you will be better off!
This 60 Minute Marketing Plan is in no way meant to replace a Professional Marketing Plan completed by a Marketing Consultant or other professional. But this at least will give you something to start with so you can start making more informed marketing decisions and stop wasting money on the wrong marketing.
If you need help developing a marketing plan, contact us. Fortune Marketing specializes in marketing research and developing small business marketing plans.