I have a lot of people ask me how to write a simple marketing plan that is easy to follow and cost effective to implement. The simple to follow I can help with, the cost effective to implement depends a bit on the tactics you decide on – and I’ll write about some low cost tactics in a future blog post.
As far as I am concerned, a marketing plan for a small business really doesn’t need to be more than a two or three pages in length.
Make sure you include:
- What your product or service is
- How you price your product or service
- What is your unique selling point? Why should customers buy from you and not your competitor?
- What is your distribution method? How to people get your product or service?
- What are your marketing goals or objectives
- Key industry trends – look at what is happening in your industry in terms of demographic, economic, political, environmental, technology, global and socio-cultural factors
- Do a simple SWOT analysis that looks at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats based on your key industry trends and including a bit of info about your competitors
- Your target market – these are the people you want to sell your product to
- Key messages – what do you want your customers to know about you?
- Communication strategies and tactics appropriate for your target market (such as brochures, website, media activity, twitter)
- Budget – how much can you afford to spend?
- Action plan – when are you doing to do this stuff? And who is going to do it?
- Evaluation – what has worked, what hasn’t? Why?
Just remember a marketing plan should be a working document that is used, revised, updated, evaluated. Again and again.
I would argue that the most important part of any marketing plan is the action plan. Schedule activities into your calendar, pin them on the wall next to your desk, just make sure you make marketing a priority, and be consistent. After all, the plan won’t work if you aren’t actually doing anything!
Do you have a marketing plan for your business? How often do you review it to see what is working?
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