Archive for November, 2014

9 Steps to create a Simple Marketing Plan

Posted on November 28, 2014. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Business Planning, Marketing, Marketing Plan, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , |

9 Steps to Create a Simple Marketing Plan
Having a Marketing Plan to grow your business is important, but sometimes creating the plan can feel overwhelming.  This Blog Post simplifies the creation of your Marketing Plan, by breaking it down into 9 questions.  When you answer these questions, you will create a simple marketing plan for your business:

  1. WHO is your target market?
    You have to clearly define who you are trying to reach with your products and/or services.  When you understand who your audience is, you are better able to market and promote to that target audience, so clearly define you target market including the demographics (age, gender, income, etc.) and pyschographics (beliefs, personality, hobbies, etc.)  and this will help you to effectively market and promote your product or service to your target audience.
  2. WHAT is the problem that your target market has?
    You have to clearly identify what problem or issue your target market may have.  Most, if not all, products or services offer a solution to some type of problem.  It may be a direct problem or an indirect problem, but your target market should have some type of problem that your product or service will help to alleviate.
  3. HOW does your product or service solve these problems?
    After identifying the problem your target market has, now you have to show how your product or service solves that problem.  It is important to not only identify the features of your product or service, but more importantly to identify the benefits of your product or service.  People identify better with benefits rather than features.  Saying your product is “light weight” is a feature, mentioning that your product is “easy and convenient to carry with you because it is light weight” is showing how that feature is a benefit.  Taking the time to identify how you solve the problem and clearly articulating that in your marketing material will work to your advantage.
  4. WHERE is your Target Market?
    The next step in your Marketing Plan is locating the target market that you have identified.  The key is to find the places that your target market exists in large quantities.  This is where you are going to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to your marketing activity.  The more people you can reach who are in your target market and are located in one place (an event, conference, workshop, etc.) the better results you will be able to get from your marketing activity.  You can find your target market in various places both online and offlline.
  5. HOW Do You Reach your Target Market? 
    Once you have located your target market, then you need to plan how you would like to reach them.  What activities will you do to reach your target market.  There are over 1,000 ways to reach your target audience (networking, advertising, email, video, speaking engagements, books, etc.)  so you have to decide what method works best for your industry, your company, and your audience.
  6. WHO are your ideal referral partners?
    Referrals can be one of the best ways to grow your business, so including in your marketing plan who your ideal referral partners are and working to build relationships with your ideal referral partners can really help you to grow your business.  If you are able, including some type of incentive for referrals works really well.
  7. WHAT differentiates your company from all the other companies in the marketplace? 
    It is important to not only identify who your competitors are, but to identify how your company is different from the others in the marketplace.  Once you clearly identify what makes you different than your competitors, then you are better able to articulate that in your marketing material to your clients and prospects.
  8. WHEN do you reach out to your target market and how much do you spend?
    Planning your activity is a very important step that many small business owners and entrepreneurs neglect to do.  The key to planning when you are going to reach out to your target audience and how much you are going to spend is to create a marketing calendar.  This calendar will allow you to plan out when you will be doing certain marketing activities, what that marketing activity will be, and how much you plan to spend on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.  Taking the time to do this activity can make a huge difference in the growth of your business.
  9. WHAT headlines will you use to catch the attention of your target audience
    Thinking about the words that you are going to use to catch the attention of your target audience is very important, so taking the time to think about relevant keywords for your audience and your company will help you to craft the appropriate headlines for your marketing material.

Have you created a Marketing Plan for your business?  If so, are there other aspects of your Marketing Plan that you include?

If you need assistance with creating a Marketing Plan for your business, we offer Marketing Plan Coaching for entrepreneurs and small business owners contact us to learn more.

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Do You Have a Business M.A.P.?

Posted on November 11, 2014. Filed under: Business, Business Planning, Email Results, Marketing, Marketing Plan, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Blog Image-  Business MAPDo you have a business M.A.P.?  Wondering what a business M.A.P. is, and why you would need one?  It’s a Marketing Action Plan (M.A.P.), and you need one in order to take your business from one place to the next.

When you need to go somewhere, and you are not sure how to get there, you need directions.  You can use a map to get the directions, now a days that map is within your GPS either in your smartphone or in your car.  Well just like the map in your GPS, you need a M.A.P. for your business that is designed to take your business from point A to point B.  The destination may be different for each business, but the need to have a plan and take action is always necessary to get your business from point A to point B.

Similar to when you are following the directions in your GPS, you may at times need to make a u-turn or change routes, but the overall map in the GPS is there to guide you and get you to your final destination.  In fact, after we have made several miss steps or u-turns we love when we hear the words, “you have reached your destination“.  With a business MAP, you may not hear a GPS system say, “you have reached your destination”, but you know you have reached your destination when you achieve the business goal that you set out to achieve.

For example, if your business goal is to increase your sales by 20%, you need to create a M.A.P. on how to get there.  Instead of turns on highways and streets, the M.A.P. includes turns you can make in your marketing activity that can help you to reach your destination, so in the case of increasing sales, a M.A.P. could look something like this:

Point A-  Sales are 50 units a month

Step 1-  Increase leads by doing the following actions:

a.  Attending more networking events

b.  Placing ads on Social Media

c.  Creating an email campaign

d.  Creating an AdWord campaign

Step 2-  Increase referrals by doing the following actions:

a.  Joining a referral networking group

b.  Looking for referral partners

c.  Creating a referral partner program

d.  Having a referral incentive

Step 3-  Increase sales conversations by doing the following actions:

a.  Having monthly webinars

b.  Having monthly teleseminars

c.  Having monthly in-person events

d.  Having more one-on-one meetings with prospects

Step 4-  Increase your conversion rate by doing the following actions:

a.  Creating sales pages with good  content and strong calls to actions

b.  Creating emails with good content and strong call to actions

c.  Creating  videos with good content and strong call to actions

d.  Adding testimonials to your website and sales pages

Point B-  Measure the increase in sales

So as you can see the action that you take in your marketing action plan will determine the outcome of the destination of your business.  You can create a plan for each business goal that you have and make adjustments to the actions when necessary.

Have you created your business M.A.P.?  If so, what marketing activities do you include in order to reach your goals?

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