- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
One of the key aspects of running a small business is making sure that people know about it. A marketing plan is the collection of strategies you’ll use to reach out to potential customers. This can be personalized to each business and doesn’t require spending a lot of money. Though it does require some planning and research.
Putting in this work now can mean your business’s success in the future. You will want to be sure that you know what all of your marketing options are and how to best use them. Having an effective marketing plan will yield customer support and business growth.
When mapping out your business’s marketing plan, you want to be aware of the different types of marketing available and how they can be effectively used. Tracking the latest trends and what is the most effective is an ongoing process of a marketing plan. Any marketing plan needs to be able to fit in with the current marketing landscape.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF MARKETING
One of the first steps in researching a marketing plan is to become familiar with the different forms of marketing. Some of them are traditional, like TV and radio ads, while others are new, like social media. Most marketing plans use a mix of marketing types but some businesses focus on one type.
Many businesses also use period marketing or marketing that is only used for a designated period. This is common to see in November and December for the Holidays, though it can be used for sales during other times of the year. It can also be used to showcase a new product or service.
By using a mix of these different marketing plans, you can map out the actions that you’ll take and when to tell people about your business. You can also measure how effective these plans are and restructure your marketing plan over time. Nothing is concrete, especially in marketing.
HOW A MARKETING PLAN WORKS
A successful marketing plan will reach out to potential customers and tell them why your business is the best choice. It will showcase your business’s unique brand and help it look interesting. Typically, marketing also works very quickly since ad spots are expensive and people’s attention spans are short.
Any successful marketing plan begins with market research. You will want to study your potential customers and what is already on the market. This will also involve looking at economic and industry trends. Depending on the kind of business you have, this could focus on local or domestic or international trends.
When conducting your market research, you will want to focus on how you can provide a competitive edge to your business. Research is there is a gap in the industry that you can cover. Find a way to gain an edge through pricing or services. Focusing on that in your marketing plan will help you stand out from other businesses in your industry.
When coming up with the nuts and bolts of your marketing plan, there are some elements you will need to account for. Besides the goal and objective, you will need to have a budget planned out. You will also need to know your target markets and what your message is. With these basics in mind, you are ready to implement a marketing plan.
MEASURING YOUR RESULTS
Any marketing plan needs a way to be analyzed to determine how effective it is. You want to be sure that your message is reaching the right targets in the right way. It is also important to have ways to adjust your strategy if it is not working correctly.
When analyzing your marketing plan, you will want to compare the results to what is happening. You want to see if your goals have been met, exceeded, or fallen short. If they have fallen short it’s important to know by how much and if your goals were realistic.
If your goals have not been met, it is time to reassess your marketing plan. Here is the time to revisit your strategy and determine if it is effective or not. If your goals just fell short it may be time to amp up your marketing. If they were way off, it may be time to restructure your marketing plan altogether.
When conducting market research and determining a marketing plan, you should always have different strategies prepared. This way when a marketing plan falls short you have other strategies to quickly implement. By having different strategies and plans in mind, you will save time when you need a new plan.
Marketing can also change quickly. Something popular now may not be popular in a few months. Marketing plans should be fluid and ready to change if need be. Some strategies will work for a long time, but other ones are best used for a short time. Social media marketing can change very quickly and if you rely on advertising on social media you want to make sure that you follow trends very closely.
Market research is an ongoing process of owning a business and marketing. Any long term marketing plan needs to account for changes in the market or industry. There is no excuse for not knowing about changes in your industry or how your target market changes. Tracking these changes may be intuitive, like tracking who uses your business, and others will involve more research.
A business owner should research new businesses in the industry and how effective they are. Staying on top of industry trends will help keep your marketing plan fresh and interesting. It will also ensure that you’re aware of how the industry is changing and keep you in business longer.
A market plan is a vital part of running a business, it makes sure that your business is reaching the people that it needs to. There are several ways to market your business and a successful market plan combines these efforts. You also need a way to measure your success and change your plan.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell