Creating a marketing plan for your business and individual products/services/events is essential to generate sales. I mention individual product marketing plans because you may have two products that appeal to two completely different types of people. Consider a car dealer. Generally, cargo vans are bought by businesses, however mini vans are purchased by families. As a purchaser of a cargo van, I want to know how much product I can fit in it. As a purchaser of a mini van, I want to know how many people I can fit in it.
Here are a few basics on what to include in your marketing plans.
- Collect, organize and write down data about the market that is currently buying the product/service you sell. Some areas to consider:
- Market dynamics, patterns including seasonality
- Customers - demographics, market segment, target markets, needs, buying decisions
- Product – what is out there now, what the competition is offering
- Current sales in the industry.
Describe your product. How does your product relate to the market? What does your market need, what do they currently use, what do they need above and beyond current use?
Describe your competition. Develop your "unique selling proposition." What makes you stand apart from your competition? What is your competition doing about branding?
Find niche or target markets for your product and describe them.
Pricing, Positioning and Branding
From the information you have collected, establish strategies for determining the price of your product, where your product will be positioned in the market and how you will achieve brand awareness.
Budget your dollars. What strategies can you afford? What can you do in house, what do you need to outsource.
Write down the marketing and promotion strategies that you want to use or at least consider using. Strategies to consider:
- Networking - go where your market is
- Direct marketing - sales letters, brochures, flyers
- Advertising - print media, directories
- Training programs - to increase awareness
- Write articles, give advice, become known as an expert
- Direct/personal selling
- Publicity/press releases
- Trade shows
Establish quantifiable marketing goals. This means goals that you can turn into numbers. For instance, your goals might be to gain at least 30 new clients or to sell 10 products per week, or to increase your income by 30% this year. Your goals might include sales, profits or customers satisfaction.
Monitor Your Results
Test and analyze. Identify the strategies that are working.
By researching your markets, your competition, and determining your unique positioning, you are in a much better position to promote and sell your product or service. By establishing goals for your marketing campaign, you can better understand if your efforts are generating results through ongoing review and evaluation of results.
Until next time…
Have a great day,
Check out my upcoming workshops here!