Marketing a business requires lots of time, effort, brainstorming, and money. But many businesses, even after investing all these, failed woefully.
So, investing heavily in your marketing strategy does not guarantee the success of your business. That may sound harsh, but it’s true.
How can you make all you’ve invested in marketing your business – time, effort, brainstorming, and money – work for you? The answer is simple: by having a solid marketing plan. This helps you stay focused on the principal reason you’re in business.
Here are five steps to developing a strong marketing plan that will spur your business to success, quickly:
1. Analyze your business
Imagine your business being an individual with personal strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of its strong and weak points. You’re going to use the strong points as your weapon to axe down the competition. And the weak points? You’ll have to work on improving them, so that your rivals don’t capitalize on them.
From your list, select the most important points, and discard the less important ones that may not need any serious attention for now.
But, one advice here: don’t do this analysis alone. You’ll need input from others, too – those who understand your business, though.
2. Look outward
Now, you’ll need to make another list – this time, of your business’s opportunities and threats. Think of both as external to your business – factors that you can’t control but can analyze and try to predict. You get it?
For the opportunities part, think of new markets, new products, and trends that will help your business. Threats will include competition, and technological advancements that may put your business at a disadvantage.
Also, list the people or businesses that make up your target market. Think of what problems your business can help them solve. Also think of how you’ll get your business’s message across to them.
Now, look at your lists again, especially the one you made in step 1. Which unique qualities of your business will appeal to your target market the most? In other words, think of those qualities that will make up your unique selling proposition.
Sometimes, it’s better to focus on a narrow market of high quality customers than a wide one in which customers offer terrible bargains.
4. Design your plan
Now it’s time to get to the concrete and measurable details. Define how you’ll utilize leads presentations, blog posts, press releases, phone calls, links, proposals, business trips, and conversion rates to your advantage.
Also, your marketing plan should include a monthly review, sales forecast, tracking and measurement, expense budgets, and non monetary metrics for tracking progress.
Another vital aspect of your marketing plan is matching important tasks to appropriate individuals in your team.
5. Review and revise when necessary
Along the line, some new realities may evolve, you may discover some of your earlier assumptions were wrong, and you may learn new strategies. You should effect these necessary changes in your marketing plan.
So, your plan shouldn’t be like words etched in stone. It should be flexible.
Remember, planning your marketing is just a means to an end – business success. But implementing your plan is a much bigger means to that end. So, plan well, but more importantly, implement diligently, and you’ll get the results you want.
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