Your marketing plan, which is a part of your larger comprehensive business plan, is a road map to keep you and your business on track. Your marketing plans and strategies begin forming as soon as you decide on going into business. Writing your marketing plan is a project; revising, updating, and implementing it on an ongoing basis is a process. As time-consuming as it may seem to sit down and write out your marketing plan, the time taken is worth it. Studies have shown that just writing out your marketing plan gives you a 30 percent higher chance of achieving your marketing goals.
As you start to develop and write your marketing plan, ask yourself these important questions:
- What products and/or services will I offer? Is my product/services mix feasible enough to sustain my business over the long-term?
- What are the primary features and benefits of my products and/or services?
- Who are my prospects, and who are my ideal customers/clients? (In these series of posts, I refer to “customers” for retail/product-oriented businesses, and “clients” for service-oriented businesses.
- What solutions will my prospects and customer/clients be looking to my business to solve for them?
- Who or what is my competition? How is my competition better than my business? How is my competition worse than my business.
Complete and comprehensive marketing plans have two parts: the informational section and the strategic and tactical course of action.
The informational section is just that—containing the basic information about your company: who you are and why you are in business. This section should also contain what products and/or services you will offer, your long- and short-term goals and objectives, a competitive analysis of the market and your competitors, the costs associated with starting and/or running your business and what measurements you will use to gauge your success.
The strategic and tactical action section of your marketing plan gives the details of the activities you will implement to meet your marketing goals. Here is where you specify what types of advertising and kind of marketing efforts you and your business will be doing and when you will do them. The point is to let your prospects and customers know that you and your business can solve their problems or issues, and also to give them an incentive and a channel to act on your message.
Writing and implementing an effective marketing plan helps the business person to actually figure out a strategy and then make a plan to achieve the stated goals and objectives.
If you need assistance developing and writing a marketing plan for your business, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We know that “It Matters How You Say It!”