Creating a Marketing Plan

Branding, Marketing
No business owner ever decided one day, without any forethought or planning to open their business in hopes that it would succeed. Or if they did, the likelihood of its success would be very slim. Business owners know that it takes months, sometimes years of planning before opening a business. Key to your business success revolves around one word, marketing, and how this breaks down into setting marketing goals and communications strategies, a marketing budget and remembering to be agile in your marketing efforts.

Setting Marketing Goals and Communications Strategies

Prior to setting marketing goals every business owner must perform a strategic and detailed situational analysis of the marketplace. Once this is done, marketing goals can be thought out and put in place. Marketing goals should include who your target audience is and what the personas are within that target audience. After personas are decided, with the help of a creative agency, you can decide what your logo and graphics will look like. Then comes deciding how to communicate with your customer and which specific media to use; print, TV, radio, collateral and a properly branded website. Last of all, set a specific goal of your financial needs you want to achieve with your marketing efforts. For instance, make your goal specific with an increase in margin on a set number of products and services or “X” % increase in sales.

Setting a Marketing Budget

While there is no magic number that you’ll need to dedicate to your marketing budget, a good rule of thumb is a minimum of 10% of revenues. Some companies dedicate 50% of their revenues. If you can do this – great! Whether it is a little or a lot be very careful to spend it on the right marketing initiatives and to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate where your marketing dollars are being spent and re-allocate as necessary.

Be Agile

The word agile comes to mind when watching a star track athlete. In the warm up routine of a track race the athlete is loose and limber, but when the camera shows a close-up of his or her face and looks in to his or her eyes, the athlete has a laser focus on the task at hand – winning! When the race starts the runner paces him or herself to maintain an edge, adjusts his or her pace and when the proper time comes they sprint to the finish line. The same applies to marketing; train hard, have a plan for winning, be loose and limber, change pace and plans when necessary. By doing so your success rate of winning the race over your competitors will increase greatly.

Your Roadmap to Success

Following these three basic steps to creating a marketing plan will give you the basics to begin your marketing efforts and will help you on your roadmap to success. For additional tips on marketing a small business we encourage you to read our past blogs and sign up for future ones so they can be delivered right to your mailbox.
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