Information gives you power to build your business. When you have information you can make better business decisions. If you know what is going on in your marketplace you can make decisions that lead to increased sales. By knowing who is buying your product / services and who has the potential to buy your product / service you can take steps to attract those prospects and turn them in to customers for life. When you have a well thought out plan with reliable information the end result will be a positive impact on your bottom line.
Top 10 Reasons To Have Marketing Plan
1. Know your product / service. A marketing plan will help you to define your product / service and be sure you are up-to-date. Adjustments might be necessary. Things to look at include pricing, packaging, new product development, and the product life cycle.
2. Understand your competition – You can not effectively compete without understanding your competition. It is important to identify and become familiar with their marketing strategies and goals. Knowing their message and how they communicate it will provide you with information you need to know where opportunities for you exist.
3. Know your environment. Small changes in the big picture affect your business. Knowing the big picture, the macro environment, is essential. Several factors to be aware of include technology, government regulations, demographic shifts, cultural issues and the economy. Any or all of these factors may have an impact on your business.
4. Identify your target. Do you know who is buying your product / service? A marketing plan will help identify your target market. It will also enable you to have a good understanding of who has the potential to become a customer.
5. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have done this you are in a positive position to capitalize on your strengths and improve your weaknesses.
6. Identify opportunities and threats. You will be able to take advantage of markets your competition is missing, look at untapped areas that can help you grow, and pinpoint threats to business growth.
7. Set goals. Written goals are more achievable than non-written goals. A plan will help you define those goals in terms of market share, sales growth, number of new customers, income levels or whatever goals your determine are appropriate for your business. Your marketing goals should be simple and easy to achieve from month to month.
8. Develop your strategy. This is how you will achieve your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase your sales to customers your strategy will be quite different from your activities in gaining new customers.
9. Identify advertising and marketing options. Enables you to explore your advertising and promotion options. You will be able to determine if your advertising and marketing efforts are reaching your target. You can determine if your current programs are providing maximum effectiveness, and you should be open to new media ideas that can help your company grow.
10. Evaluation for desired results. A marketing plan will give you a means to evaluate if your program is giving you the desired results and you can prepare to make changes if necessary.
Once you have done your research and found how all this information can affect your business, it is time to draft a well thought out plan. This marketing plan has specific goals and time lines so you will be able to determine if your are reaching your goals ,, and then, building your business.