Business that are successful usually have a marketing plan and most would tell you that while executing the plan has its challenges, developing the plan and deciding what to do and how to do it was the longest part of the process. Your marketing plan should be clear, concise, and a well though out document that guides you through your marketing activities starting with your overall objective and how you intend to accomplish that objective. Whether your company provides products or services, is off line or on line, your marketing plan is essential to your success but must focus on five critical components to be a success.
I. Position Your Product
In the BLASTTM marketing system, positioning is the most critical element to consider when putting together your marketing plan. It involves creating the image and identity in the minds of your customers each time they experience your product and building the infrastructure around it to support it. In product positioning, there are two basic focuses: Offering what the customer wants with the most profitable market opportunity and taken actions to differentiate product from that of their competition in such a way that customers will develop a preference for your product over the competition. When you put the right product at the right price and in front of the right customer, you have mastered positioning. The goal of any marketing plan is to create a strategy that will boost your profits including a persuasive message targeted towards your customer and a promise that your product actually delivers – this statement will become your brand promise.
For example: Fed Ex, “When it simply has to get there overnight” Domino’s Pizza “Pizza in 30 minutes or less”
II. Tap into your Mastermind Group
Information is one of the most powerful assets a person can posses and having the ability to leverage other people’s information is exponentially better. To help define your marketing plan, tap into your brain trust for ideas, market and competitive perspectives. In a mastermind group, each group member will come with different experiences, perspectives and ideas that will most likely be your next big money making idea. Having the ability to brainstorm and be creative with a group of people all focused on helping you solve a problem is one of the biggest benefits you will experience from a mastermind group. The powerful result of a mastermind group is that there is a synergy of energy, excitement and idea sharing that participants bring to the group therefore raising the bar by challenging and encouraging other members to create and implement their goals.
III. Listen to your Customers
The best way to find out what is in your customer’s head is to simply ask them. Whether you new business or an established one, understanding your target market is an important element to your marketing plan. It is important to get your customer’s perspective to your product, its price, quality and anything else that influences their purchasing decision. Try handing out samples, conducting surveys or test marketing your product. The information that you get back will be invaluable and well worth the investment of offering a few free samples. The feedback that you will get from your customers or potential customers will help you evaluate the integrity of your product, its ability to support your brand promise, the pricing model and its quality. Even if you are new, test your product in your target market by conducting what is called market test to see how your product will be received. This is a great way to introduce you, get valuable feedback and testimonials for your product launch.
IV. Create a Simple Plan
Now that you have given some thought to what you want your product to represent, identify your target market and tested your product to see what works and what doesn’t, it is now to sit down and draft your marketing plan. So many business owners get stuck at this point either thinking they don’t need a plan or are intimidated about creating one. Every business, both small and large, will benefit greatly from a well thought out planning process and a key component to every success business is a good marketing plan that answers the basic questions: who, what, why, where, when an how much. Creating a marketing plan is critical component to on-going success and is not something that should be ignored. This plan does not have to be comprehensive. It can be a simple plan that addresses the following:
- Your overall market
- Your specific niche
- Your target audience within your niche
- Your brand promise
- Your competition
- Your benefits and competitive differences
- Your pricing model
- Your marketing budget
- Your marketing activities
- Your marketing calendar of events
- Your success measures
V. Track Results
A successful marketing plan is tracked and measured. In order to measure your performance and determine if your plan is successful, you must identify how you will be measuring the success of your plan. Some examples: Return on investment (how much did I spend vs. how much I got back; Returned coupons, web hits, open clicks, Increased calls? How will you define a successful marketing activity? What is the result you are looking for?
©Kellie D’Andrea & Associates
Want to use this article in your newsletter or web site? You can, just include this complete blurb with it: Kellie D’Andrea is the creator of the BLAST system and publishes “The Marketing Edge” a FREE award winning ezine for small business owners who want to gain the competitive edge with strategic marketing and branding techniques that actually work. Find out the 23 Common Mistakes Most Entrepreneurs make with a FREE report offered at www.KellieDandrea.com.