Image by: TheAngryTeddy
By Dexter Lunde
Setting up a marketing plan for your business is a big step. You may even be looking at your current marketing plan and looking to upgrade it or throw it out and start from scratch. No matter which position you are in, it important to come up with a simple plan that answers the questions:
Who are you?
What do you do?
Who are you looking to attract?
How can you get their attention?
Let’s jump right in and look at some of my favorite tips on what to put into your business’s perfect marketing plan.
#1) Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start
These questions (while some of them may feel a bit out of place) will help you determine your goals and will reassess what you are looking for.
1. What does your ideal client look like? What does your perfect customer look like?
2. What is your mission statement?
3. How will you reach your market? How can they find out about you?
4. What funds will you use in order to make your business grow? How will you be able to get these funds?
5. What would the perfect customer experience in your store and on your website? How can you make that happen?
6. How can you convince your customers to trust you? Trust is very important in any market and field.
#2) Give Yourself Some Time
Sometimes the key to developing a good marketing plan (the same goes for your business plan as well) is to let it stew for a little while. Work on it and let it sit for a month or so. It may seem like a long time but in order to catch little discrepancies, and in order to make sure that you’ve seen around every corner, you need to stop thinking about it and come back to it later.
This practice will let you see mistakes that you didn’t see before. This is a good practice to have with any big project. Your marketing plan will be a big part of your success, so you need to be able to give it time to breathe in order to determine if you can make it more effective or better in any way.
#3) Narrow Your Focus
Remember the question, “Who is your idea customer?” This is how you narrow your market focus. Describe your ideal customer down to as many details as you can. Use this to determine how you can focus your marketing efforts.
#4) Focus on Leading, Not Forcing
Your efforts must be focusing on leading your ideal customers to your place of business (i.e. create prospects) instead of forcing customers to choose you. If they come willingly (instead of feeling as though they were forced or tricked), they will be more likely to come back for more of your products and/or services.
#5) Focus on Educating
Your products may not be geared toward education (you may not be selling pencils and notebooks) but try to gear your website and your storefront for educating your customers in your field.
Are you selling fishing gear? Have content on your website about how your customers can find the perfect lure or the right fishing spots. Hold weekly or monthly classes in your storefront.
If your website focuses on education, the content will bring in more web visitors. If you hold classes, you can bring in more customers to your store. If you keep holding classes, you can keep bringing in the same customers and more.
#6) Gain Public Attention
Look into your local newspapers, magazines, and community calendars to find journalists who cover stories which are related to your field. Start to build relationships with these journalists. Plan out the rest of the year by planning events and promotions with them.
#7) Find the Most Effective Way to Measure Your Success
The best way to find out if your marketing plan works is to look at the numbers. Make sure that you have a way to watch your numbers effectively. Look at which marketing techniques work and which ones don’t. For some of us, this can be more of a guess-and-check process. You hypothesize which methods will work best. Try them out. Then see which methods work the best.
This is a great time to assess your goals. Make sure that you have goals set before you set your marketing plan. Then, as you assess the numbers, compare them to your goals.
#8) Bust Out Your Calendar
If you ask my team or my wife, they’ll all tell you that I am organized to the point that I would probably register on some OCD charts. My calendars are color-coded and they are all synced with each other. Each color refers to different types of activities. I mark my marketing events and tasks in blue. I make sure that we’re holding an event every month (at the least). All of my events are always aimed at moving our business forward.