Outlining the Action: Learn to Prepare a Marketing Plan in 6 Simple Steps
Most small businesses fail within five years. It may be they confuse the idea with a plan. Entrepreneurs with great ideas often expect the world to flock to their door or website just because they have a good idea.
The best idea does not make a business if it cannot reach the people who want or need it. If your business is to succeed, it needs structure, timing, and vision. Above all, success follows planning. Without it, there’s no map to get there, no flexibility in the face of crisis, no big picture.
A marketing plan in 6 simple steps:
Business.gov.au says, “A good marketing plan can help you reach your target audience, boost your customer base, and ultimately increase your bottom line.” Here are six steps to get you there.
- Do you know what you have? You don’t want to hang out your sign until you are sure you have something people want. Verifying its value means understanding the hard and soft sides of the product or service. But it also means knowing how it differs from things already on the market. You must identify the unique selling position, the picture making it stand out from others.
- Determine its value. Value is what the customer sees in the product. Price is what the customer is willing to pay. This may or may not have any connection with the cost it takes to produce the work. So you must know enough about what you have to determine how to reach the customers who will pay. And that takes a plan.
- Target your market. “Market” is a metaphor hearkening back to old-school fairs and who shopped there. The customers came to the market but tended to shop in some parts more than others. You must figure out who and why. It could be their gender, age, or other demographic. But it could also be location, reputation, and quality. You must know to whom your product or service appeals.
- Focus on the target. Once you have identified the target, you must focus on the bulls-eye. You must set goals. If you don’t know the game, you won’t score. So, you must set achievable, flexible, and incremental goals. Big goals are made of small victories, but you have to picture and schedule them.
- .Connect the dots. It takes strategies and tactics to reach those goals. Your marketing plan needs long-term strategies and short-term tactics to get you there. The tactics enable the strategy of aligning action and vision. SmallBusiness.chron notes, “Once you know your customer and what you want to do, set your marketing methods. Select from traditional advertising and digital marketing platforms.”
- Count your pennies. Every marketing plan requires a budget. You can’t spend money you don’t have. Your plan must parallel or anticipate your cash flow to make it effective. For example, a new business will need a logo, website, and more branding tools. Your budget must be strong enough to answer the many calls on its marketing moves.
Outlining the action!
You can take a college course in planning, spend a day at a seminar, or make it happen soon and smart with some easy steps. But these days you will find invaluable support in customized plan templates. You start with a marketing proposal example and develop it for any business with any objective with a fast, easy, and effective individualized marketing plan.