The Why & How to Develop Your Business Marketing Plan…
Your business plan is vital, but no more so than your marketing plan.
Your marketing plans or guides, will cover all the different aspects of your customers, how you will first obtain market share and then how you intend to increase your market share.
Your business marketing plans are plans of action and they focus on the needs of your customers.
You absolutely must develop a focused business marketing plan
To start your business without a marketing plan is like pushing your car downhill without a driver, disastrous!
To develop your business marketing plans you need to understand and do the following …
- 1. Understand your product
- What is it, how is it, what does it do, why would anyone want it, is it better than the competitions?
- You must understand your service or product so that you can sell it to the right customer.
- You need to decide, through market research and marketing surveys, the type of customer who will want to buy your product and what it is about the product that will attract them to buy.
- What price will you charge? Depending on where you hope to sell and to whom, will affect the pricing of the product.
- What exactly are you selling? Quality? Better service? Low price? Convenience? Researching and understanding your potential customer will show you the way.
- 2. Know your target customer
- Your customer, the customer you want to buy your product, must be understood in detail. All I can say is ‘KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER’.
- Are they rich, middle class or poor?
- Young, old or of all ages?
- Where and how do they live?
- Are they conservative or modern? When do they buy?
- The customer profile is the second leg of developing your business marketing plans.
- 3. Promote your product, make your customer want it
- Now that you know your products worth and which people are likely to want it, your next step is to let them know about it.
- Getting them to know about and need your product or service means coming up with a good off-site marketing strategy.
- This will cover publicity, advertising, merchandising and branding.
- 4. Sell your product
- Finally your plan will cover the how of getting your now attracted customer to buy on-site as well as remaining a repeat customer.
In showing how your marketing will get customers for you, you also need to show how you will then get them to buy and finally how you will service their future needs.
Your business marketing plans need to cover all these aspects to ensure your business success.
How much to spend in your Business Marketing Plans.
To build your business you have to get known and to get known you have to advertise. How much is it going to cost you to get known?
To do the job properly, you will need to budget a percentage of your gross sales to spend on your advertising budget.
From past experience most consultants will recommend that you set aside between 2 and 5 percent of your anticipated gross sales.
My experience however has shown me that with new markets you will have to spend up to 8 percent in the first year, reducing to 5 or 6 percent in the second year before spending on maintenance at around 2 to 4 percent. It all depends on what and how you aim to advertise.
Where do you spend your marketing budget?
Developing your marketing plans and knowing your potential customers will give you a pretty good idea of where to spend your advertising money.
Money is always tight at start-up, so you must advertise where you can expect to get the most bang for your buck.
That means advertising to the niche that your customers fill. Use the advertising media that will reach those customers and those customers alone. You can?t afford the shotgun approach in the early days.
What do you spend your marketing budget on?
- Publicity and Public Relations can be very effective, the least expensive and can often generate free advertising.
- Advertising … Paid for, often expensive but very reliable.
Advertising covers a very wide range of potential advertising methods which can be grouped under Print, TV and Radio, and Internet advertising. Your business marketing plans are very important and help to refine your focus in this regard.
- Merchandising How you select and display the goods and services you sell, can enhance or detract from your advertising efforts. Small efforts here can yield big dividends.
- Branding Do you sell your own product or service? If so, giving it a recognizable logo and brand name can increase its value over time.
Pick and choose those aspects of your business marketing plans, when you require them, and decide on deadlines, tracking and test measures when you write up your business marketing plans.