Small Business Marketing 101: Creating a Marketing Plan
- Articles

Small Business Marketing 101: Creating a Marketing Plan

well welcome everyone I'm Lawrence really I am with Vista prints marketing group I focus on retention of our existing small business customers I hope we have a number of customers in the room tonight this is our marketing essentials track so we will be talking about kind of giving you an overview of marketing principles the sort of questions you should be asking before you launch into doing any one of the specific marketing initiatives such as direct mail social media email marketing I'm going to give you the general overview and then our other presenters we'll get into more of the detailed topics so I call this smart marketing for small businesses and I do that because marketing can be a bit of a black hole if you don't know what you're doing you can spend a lot of money on it and not necessarily get the return on investment that you're looking for so I'm hopefully going to get you to start thinking and asking the right questions that will lead you to marketing that really does deliver results so raise your hand if you know the difference between acquisition and retention marketing you know who your ideal customer is the ones that are most profitable for you so a little bit less of that know what channel marketing is darica Canada he works it you've created one marketing piece with different messages targeted to different populations so for example one postcard pretty much looks the same but you have two different messages on it and you target different groups so got one or two you know what integrated marketing is okay I think this is less and you know how to calculate return on investment for your marketing campaigns No okay so good news is you're on the right place because this is what we're going to cover um so the key to getting started is really about asking the right questions I think anyone who wants to be successful at marketing has to have a lot of curiosity because it really is about understanding what your goals are what your vision for your company is where you see it in one year three or five years and then you can start thinking about developing a plan a roadmap to get you there in my travels I've done work with a lot of small businesses and I see that a lot of small business owners tend to be very reactionary they market when business is slow they try things out because they hear oh I you know I saw something about putting an ad in a local newspaper or maybe I'll try some direct mail but there's not a whole lot of planning that goes into it really you should develop a plan that sort of focuses on three main topics and that's acquisition acquiring new customers retention keeping customers and winning those customers back that may have for one reason or another sort of fallen off your radar so let's talk about the key questions first question is what is my primary marketing goal and again that's really are you trying to generate awareness for a new business are you looking to grow your business and grow your your customer base are you trying to retain customers and develop more loyalty are you looking for referrals from those customers that are very engaged with your business and happy and willing to bring in their friends their peers family the next question is really who is my ideal customer you know that is who's the most profitable for you it's not necessarily the customer that you know does business with you once a year or constantly shops the competition is only buying from you when you have a sale or you offer something free these are people who are loyal to you profitable and we'll talk sort of about how to how to find out who those customers are next thing is understanding why they buy from you there are a number of different reasons a lot of things that play into the consumer decision process and we need to sort of dive in to understand what it is that you offer and you know why people are buying from you and then you want to sort of speak up to those points but also understand why some customers aren't buying from you and start to figure out like how do you bridge those gaps how do I find them we're going to spend some time on that there are so many you know things out there today social media all the digital online websites the traditional print you know there's so much it's almost mind-boggling how do you choose and then you know so you know who they are you know how to find them what are you going to say to them what do you say that's going to you know change their behavior to come and do business with you and to do it on a repeated basis and then how do I know if it's working and as I said we're going to end we're going to end tonight looking at two different marketing companies who one had an email campaign wanted a direct mail campaign and we're going to look at how to calculate what we call ROI which is return on investment so actually know if if the marketing project that you launched was successful if you should do it again or what you need to tweak along the way so what is my specific goal increase profitability is what you see in the center here that's really what marketing is all about it's not just about dry driving sales or attracting any customer it's increasing the profitability of your customer and then they're sort of there are a number of things that play into this but as I already mentioned you know acquisition is all about acquiring new customers growing your customer base repeat or retention marketing is keeping the customers you have selling them what you sell now but also upselling them additional product services and then there is the wind back and we talked about that a little bit those are customers who made one or several purchases from you and for whatever reason they decided to go to one of your competitors you really need to understand you know why why that is so let's talk about who is my ideal customer and why you really want to identify who your customers are in terms of the total value they represent in terms of both revenue and loyalty because there are some customers who don't necessarily spend that much with you but they're very loyal and they will refer you to other people and those are just as valuable as the ones that are spending a lot with you all the time so how do you how do you determine that there are a number of sort of common characteristics that we look at when we talk about customers one is demographic information so you can consider the age of your customer base their income level where they live are they you know local is your business online and then it doesn't matter are you a neighborhood business and these are people who you know live in your local area then is behavioral so that is more transaction based you look at what they're buying from you how often they're buying are they only buying at discount are they buying full price these these kind of components will help you target your marketing to the people that we identify are the most offer table and then there's this whole psychographic component which is really more about their attitude their value you know is it a hobby are they green conscious like understanding some of those other drivers that may create sort of a target audience for you and that's again once we determine this we come up with what we call your target market these are the people that you should be focused on you can't be everything to all people you really have to pick the people that you're going to be most successful with um so don't try to just you know if you if you're in the automotive repair industry not every customer who owns a car is necessarily your best customer new people who just bought a car probably go to the dealer and their cars under warranty so though they may not be your best customer so you really have to dig into that um so I have a couple of examples of how you find this information out and in the back of this I have some resource resources that they're sort of free resources so there are a lot of them free online surveys right now so if you have an email list you can develop a survey send it out possibly offer some sort of an incentive for people to complete the survey and you you basically you're just asking your customers it's okay to ask what they like what they don't like why they're doing business with you what else they'd like to see you offer I think a lot of people don't feel comfortable doing that but whether it's as I said an online survey a comment card that you have at your point of sale or even in person just sort of getting ad hoc feedback I mean your small business owners chances are you know your customers personally and it's okay to engage in conversation about these kind of things so here's an example of that I found about some consumer research it was Mike's express car wash and you can see in the the image they launched a free web-based survey with an offer it was a free car wash for participation they had fifty fifty three percent of the respondents now this is what surprised me said that they would like to receive future communication from the carwash pretty surprising right you would think what kind of information could a carwash offer me but I would find interesting on but it resulted in this completely new channel for them they launched a monthly newsletter where they offered you know information about car maintenance and monthly SATA coupons and things like that and it was it was very successful they probably would not have thought of launching a newsletter had they not asked their customers so smart marketing tip number two is you are not selling a product feature but rather a product benefit when Volvo for example sells does their marketing and they sell a car they don't really sell four tires a metal frame they sell safety if I were to you know talk about selling you this pen for example I'm really not going to talk about the ink and the plastic casing it's more what does this pen do for you so if I were trying to create sort of an emotional connection I would talk about you know the next sale you're going to ink with this pen or that note you're going to write to your sweetie on Valentine's Day I mean so it's really selling a solution you're not selling a product why do your customers buy for me this is what we call the consumer decision process and as you see people pretty much in any sales process people move through the process in the same way so the first is awareness this is where people are sort of out there and they're bombarded with you know messages and they're just kind of cataloging them all like when I need help you want you want your customers to know that you're out there right so it's generating awareness then they move into the consideration phase it's you know what can you do for me from there it's what they're there in consideration maybe they've walked in your door okay they're like starting to browse what's different about you is the next piece it's the interest piece and this is where you want to start you know maybe they've called you or they've asked for information that's why you have to start differentiating yourself from the competition and then they move into the preference phase are you the best choice for me so you need to sort of be at each point in this process finally when they go in to purchase they want to know you know how much does it cost what are you selling me how long is it going to take when again you've got to make sure that you have a message at each point in that process because everybody follows the same process so how what is sort of the five key components that you need to consider in this process the first one is product what are the customers really buying from you are you selling a quality product how does it compare with your competition which products are your most profitable products to promote you know some products or just products that get people in the door but they're not necessarily the ones that make you the most money how are they packaged and delivered are you delivering quality at every point in the process not just the product but the packaging the second piece is price so does the price that you're offering make sense to your target do they understand the value of what you're offering and everybody sort of has a different equation of value it's it's a combination of quality and price equals value and everybody sort of has a different opinion of what that is but what you need to do is to be sure that whatever you're saying your value is actually matches your target audience you know do you simply slash prices when business lags are there unique ways you can approach pricing you really need to make sure that your pricing is makes sense for your business the third is people so you know how do customers react to your product your price your quality who we've talked about this who are your most profitable customers and what are the attributes that define them as a group and again that's your target you're targeting and do you deliver on customer satisfaction and guarantee which is a very important component of retention and win back you know making sure that even in the cases that you're not fulfilling their expectations that you're willing to you know make it right promotion is really what we're talking about here tonight and that's you know are you creating a consistent perception across all the different channels that you may be marketing in whether it be direct mail email your website social media on your Facebook page you really should be projecting a very consistent message across all of those so that your company doesn't look like different companies in different places it should always look the same and then finally the place you know and this is where we talked about the consumer decision process are you top of mind when your target customer is in the market for your product can you target these customers and easily find them and is it convenient for your customers to do business with you so are you open in the right hours that people want to be conducting business with you those are those are the sort of things that you need to consider so how do I find them I know this slide looks very busy and that's kind of purposely because there are so many options out there how do you decide where to put your marketing dollars and that's where we come in to channel marketing so the way I like to think of channel marketing a lot of people don't know that term but I think of it almost like TV stations you change the channel you have a different program targeted to a different audience so I want it there's a lot on here but I think I want to run through quickly the different channels word-of-mouth obviously is free it's very effective because people trust friends family peers but it's somewhat hard to control you don't have a whole lot of control about who's talking about you and what they're saying when you look at direct mail that's a bit more expensive a channel because there is a printing cost and there is a postage cost but there's a higher likelihood that it actually is going to be viewed it's easy to personalize and you can use it for both existing customers and to attract new customers email is relatively inexpensive it's something that everyone should be doing I you know you should make it a point as you transact with customers to start building if you don't already have it your email list because it's a very effective channel it's low cost it's easy to personalize it helps drive customers to other channels like your website your social media pages and then there's a you know obviously your website again fairly low cost there are a number of free or monthly paid subscription let you know low cost options out are for small businesses and you know a lot of people who don't are not conducting business online ask well why do I really need a website and the answer to that is that your cost you may not be online but your customers are online searching for businesses to transact with and if you're not there they're going to find one of your competitors to do business with so you really everyone should have a website it doesn't have to be in e-commerce site it can be almost more of a online brochure if you don't transact business online but it's definitely a very valuable tool in the marketing sort of toolkit and then there's search so search can be free because that's kind of direct type in search or they call it organic or it can be paid like when you buy Google AdWords I don't know if people are familiar with that and you're actually bidding on words based on how often they're searched and it the higher you show up in those search rankings the easier it is to find social media is another you know channel that gets a lot of attention now it's free it's very easy to post you know relevant content to your customer base it can be very effective in reaching large numbers the one caveat to that it is it is pretty time-consuming because if you want to post even you know once a day you have to sort of take the time to do that and you have to be you know develop relevant posts to keep your customers engaged and you know we're going to have a presentation on how to do that and then finally there's the whole print TV radio ad channel more of the advertising which tends to be very expensive and probably not the best channel for very small businesses it's not very targeted and again it's it's pretty expensive and it often requires you to hire a third party agency to develop your advertising materials so something that I would you know tread cautiously this is a chart I don't know if you can see it I just included this because I wanted to share a couple of these statistics just to show from 2010 to 2011 small businesses their adoption rate let's say on websites has jumped from 51 to 85 percent that's a pretty significant jump in one year search marketing from 38 percent to 74 percent so you'll see that these these are actual channels that can work for small businesses you just have to be smart about it so once you understand the channels you need to make them work in support of each other I've included just a couple of examples here the first kind of screen shot is on the Vistaprint of our email template and you'll see that we're you know marketing something some sale here but at the top we have all the links to our social media templates and that goes out in every single email that we send so if you're not transacting with the email and you don't go to the site there's there's kind of another way for us to engage you and that's on our Facebook page where you can join other small businesses and sort of see what they're doing and then the second example this feather hair extension this was one of our customers who uses our email product and I just wanted to show that this was an email they sent out to promote hair extensions but they have this huge call to friend them on Facebook so this is how the chant you know this is email and social media working together the more relevant your message is to the recipient the stronger your response rate is going to be so I have an example of a targeted marketing campaign here that I got in the mail and I included it because I think it's a really good example so this is from my health club that I'm a member of they sent this email at the beginning of the year and it was to introduce the club and offer this exclusive free membership deal they did a really nice job of including you know inspirational images and coffee that would create sort of an emotional connection on the back they showed some sort of like buff people that look like they've definitely benefiting from the workouts they have images of the club to pique interest introducing all the club features down here and then they had a very strong trial offer it was a really nice piece I actually have an example of this piece it was costume it probably costs them quite a bit of money but there was one problem with this and somebody may have picked it up along the way yes five minutes okay we'll try to heart the problem with this is they sent it to their existing customers so you know this was wasted on me and they sent it twice so this may have been successful for them but we know they wasted money on it because they sent to an existing customer they would have been better to send me something that says you know we know you're up they know I'm an engaged member because I swipe my cards they know I go to the gym all the time they should have sent me a refer like refer a friend you get a discount your friend gets a discount so the targeting was off on this so I only have five minutes and I have a lot more to cover but real quickly this was an example of a Vistaprint holiday postcard this is just a standard postcard that we sent out it looks exactly the same but if you dig in a little deeper and you read the headlines you'll see the first one three great reasons to try holiday cards from vistaprint obviously to people who have never bought holiday cards from us the other one come back and get on get in on this great holiday card offer so these are people who bought cards from us last year so there's kind of little effort here we created really one piece but we targeted it with a headline and you know just made sure that we sent it to the right list so this is really last part that I want to talk about marketing is about increasing profitability not only driving sales and the key really is to know if that is working for you or not so I have two examples here we'll probably only have time for the first one but this was a massage therapist postcard direct mail campaign and what I'm sort of laying out here is what the offer was how many pieces they mailed what the response rate is and then how to calculate the return on investment so I'll just kind of walk you through it they offered it was $80 when you buy a package of ten by January 31st regularly each massage costs $100 so they're knocking $20 off when you buy the package so the total cost of the package is $800 they mailed a thousand pieces they already had the mailing list so there was no cost associated with that but there was a cost associated with printing the direct mail piece and that was a hundred and fifty dollars to print a thousand pieces the cost of the pote postage was you know 34 cents bulk posted so that cost them $340 and so the total cost of the mailer was 490 dollars it cost them $200 for every sale they made because 410 massage is $20 off that's 200 so there was a total cost of two thousand dollars in two thousand four hundred and ninety dollars they sent the postcards out and they got a two percent response rate which by the way surprisingly is actually pretty good you can expect anywhere from like one to three percent on your direct mail I don't a lot of people don't realize that and they send our direct mail and they think that they're not seeing the response they should but that's actually pretty standard ultimately they sold ten News they made ten new sales and they the revenue that they brought in was eight thousand dollars was 800 per package and they sold 10 so the way to calculate and again this will all be sent out to because I don't expect you to remember is to look at the total revenue that you brought in last year expenses divided by your expenses and then when you times that by a hundred because ROI is usually calculated as a percentage you'll see that they had a ROI of 221 percent which is pretty good so they would decide to move forward with us again or something similar and that's pretty much it think about your vision what your goals are short term and long term and then how to conduct a needs assessment on your business so that you can really determine what your main goal is thank you sorry I had to rush the end but we don't have time for questions but I will be outside

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

35 thoughts on “Small Business Marketing 101: Creating a Marketing Plan

  1. 유KD튜KD브 댓KD글 영KD구 [2][0]KD[만]KD[원]
    홍보KD마케팅KD필수KD프로그램KD판매 [ㅋr][톡]KD[FB55]

  2. I've been doing really well with influencer marketing, using phlanx as my platform in significantly boosting the presence of my small business online.

  3. LOVED LOVED LOVED THIS… Very informative presentation really liked her style of delivery

  4. Allow you to organize your leads in a way that you’ve never seen before –
    #BestLeadManagementApp #LeadManagementSoftwareForSmallBusiness

  5. You are invited to the MARKETING WORLD SUMMIT! Happening on Aug 17-19 2017 at the Florida Hotel & Conference Center. Get your Early-Bird Tickets now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *