Developing a marketing plan can be a part of business planning and development, but it’s easy to confuse it with the formal business plan or startup strategy.
A marketing plan can help you identify the key objectives and goals of increasing sales, and it’s not as intimidating as it seems. A one-page marketing plan is a great way to get started in organizing your next initiative, and all it takes is seven critical elements. Simply plugging in a few sentences or ideas for each question can help you develop a blueprint for your strategy, and these can always be built upon as the project moves forward:
What’s the purpose?
Identifying the goal of the marketing venture helps you filter out unnecessary information. Do you want to increase sales during a specific period? Attract new customers? Increase market share by converting your competition’s customers? The purpose statement is a miniature ‘mission’ statement that can help you create a cohesive and focused plan.
Why do you need to do this?
This will help you determine the benefits of the marketing initiative, and can be a simple bulleted list of reasons why this will help you achieve the items outline in #1.
Who is the target market?
Demographic data and statistics will help you create a more powerful message that resonates with your customers.
Are you a niche leader?
Making your niche business successful requires understanding what exactly you do that’s different from anything else out there. How do you plan to make your brand stand out?
What marketing medium will be most effective?
There are dozens of marketing tools available, but that doesn’t mean you need to use all of them! Consider 2-3 marketing tools for each initiative. A few choices include blogs, websites, podcasts, flyers, brochures, newsletters, billboards, radio, and/or print advertising.
What’s the budget?
Answer this question with some flexibility; you may need to get rates from each of the mediums selected in #5 and then establish a baseline budget. Once you’ve selected the rates and calculated costs, consider ways to cut back if needed.
Is it consistent with your brand?
Your brand and company name must be in line with the activities and initiatives you pursue, and this will help you build a steady group of customers much more easily. Brand identification is important for businesses of any size, and you can reach your target market much faster and more easily with a strong brand image.
What are some other ways to put together your marketing plan?
How long does it really take?
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