Marketing plans are critical for any size company, especially in this economy. An effective marketing plan helps you identify your sales goals and position your product or service within the overall competitive landscape. Over time the plan can become an ongoing blueprint for business development.
A well-written marketing plan helps you think through how you will reach prospects and customers with your message. It demonstrates how you will acquire leads and convert them into paying customers. While high-end Harvard MBA-type marketing plans have their appropriate place, I’m going to show you how to create a quick n’ dirty marketing plan that you can use right now. Assuming you have already developed your product or service, this very basic plan will help you get your business going and growing.
- Who is your audience? What are their demographics?
- What are their hot buttons?
- What will move them to take action?
What is it about your product or service that truly separates you from your competition? Who is your competition, and what is your remarkable difference?
First, identify the most promising target audience in as much detail as possible. In other words, find these people in the real world and find out what makes them tick. How do you do that? There are two main ways, both of which are equally important:1) Online research such as Google News Alerts, relevant blogs and forums
2) Interviews with 5-10 potential customers (you probably have them in your database or existing network)
These two steps will help you identify issues that are important to your audience. They will also help identify online communities, trade associations, publications and any other vehicles you can use to reach them with your message.
Based on your research, your marketing plan might include the following proposed tactics:
- Elevator pitch with the key value proposition
- Key benefits/selling points
- A sales kit with a powerpoint presentation, business cards, company backgrounder
- Viral marketing through Twitter/Facebook
- Email marketing
- Blogging/community building
- Trade shows
- Test Plan
Test and Test Again
Finally, keep testing and revising your message and tactics as often as possible. Stay close to your market and listen to what they say. Successful marketing is all about fulfilling customer needs. Ask your customers what they want and deliver it to them in a memorable, professional, and profitable way.
Get the proposal
Signup for email updates and get the same proposal I've used to close over $100k in consulting business.