When people create businesses, most people know about writing a business plan. Business plans define your business and your goals serving as your companies resume. If you take it one step further, marketing plans are strategic paths of increasing sales and customers. They are critical not only to review how your business is operating but where you can improve. Marketing plans are useless if they are just stuck in a file cabinet or filed somewhere in your documents you never read on your hard drive. So get your marketing plans out or create a new plan. Be diligent about review and execution!
Areas to consider when writing your marketing plan
- establish and double check your unique selling proposition
- find out what customers really want by surveys and market research
- assessment your competition, strengths and weaknesses
- include lead generation options such as collecting names, email address, telephone numbers, etc
- set up contingency plans for high or low sales cycles
- develop and redevelop your marketing strategy based upon your customers needs and attitudes in the industry
- evaluate your marketing plan often. Analyze what works and does not.
- focus on niche markets to target your marketing efforts
- do not compete on price alone
- audit your current customer database looking for duplications, errors, or content that is no longer irrelevant (changes of addresses, businesses that do not exist)
- share your marketing plans with management to inspire, contribute and rally behind
- do not forget branding. Consider all areas where you can include your brand in your business.
- consider different marketing options – blogs, article submission, sponsorship, pay per click advertising, incentives, contributions, gifts, fliers, affiliations and banner ads