Creating a marketing plan … In a nutshell. Creating a marketing plan will help you ensure maximum return on investment.
The first step is to articulate what your product or service is, what the benefits to
the customer are and why it is better or different to the competition.
If you don’t know this how will you create a compelling sales message that makes potential
customers want to buy? How will you price your product or service?
Price low to achieve market penetration and share or position yourself as a quality brand
that commands a premium price? The next stage is identifying your target
audience and your ideal customer. What do they read, where do they hang out and what
are they interested in are the types of questions you should be asking to help you decide which
are the most effective channels to communicate with them.
What do you want your marketing to achieve? Is it sales growth, new customers, increased
profile, or all of the above? Having clear objectives gives you something to work towards
and measure against. You need an end goal and a strategy to get
there. Next you need to determine your marketing
tactics. There are broadly two categories. The first, offline marketing, covers things
such as print advertising, direct mail and sales exhibitions. The second, online marketing
includes anything involving the Internet such as website, email marketing, e-commerce and
pay per click. Keep referring back to your target audience
and think about whats best for them. A marketing campaign aimed at teenagers will
almost certainly need to involve online marketing whereas this would be less relevant for a
campaign aimed at the over seventies. Your available budget will also determine
what you can do. A mix of marketing tactics combined as an
integrated campaign is generally more effective than one tactic in isolation.
A marketing plan should be constantly evaluated and measured. Marketing is not an exact science
and can be a process of trial and error. So its important to evaluate the effectiveness
of your campaigns and adjust as you go along. A good marketing plan is one that is constantly