Developing a marketing plan and keeping on top of it can be a daunting prospect for a small business. To be truly effective, it needs to be constantly monitored, reviewed, updated and executed.
Marketing Plan for Small Businesses
In an ideal world, you would have a marketing executive to manage your marketing strategy and planning. Or better still, a marketing department. However, not all businesses can afford that. In such cases, I can help advise on a marketing strategy and then help ensure it is monitored, reviewed, updated and executed. With a free initial marketing consultation, together we can start to develop an effective marketing plan which helps grow your business. So why not get in touch. You have nothing to lose!
In the meantime, here is an A to Z of some of the basic, but important, elements all small businesses should consider before embarking on any marketing strategy.
Ask your customers what they want
Good market research is key to successful business.
Build a brand name, image and company ethos
This should give value to both you and your customer.
Customer is king
You need to know them, love them and always give them what they want.
Develop multiple streams of income for your business
This should be based on your consumer insight. Explore every avenue and it will ensure you customers keep coming back to you.
Every step of the way
Know every touch-point on your customers’ journey to your product or service and make sure to exceed their needs at every interaction.
Focus only on marketing activities that deliver a true return on investment
If your marketing activities are not giving you a return on investment, then your funds should be channeled elsewhere.
Get your brand out there
Whether this is through advertising, PR, social media, networking, or direct mail, make sure you let your customers know about you.
How do you want to be seen?
Make sure that all your marketing activities are in line with your brand vision, mission and values.
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery
Study your industry for marketing plans which have worked for other, and don’t be afraid to try something similar yourself.
Just do it!
There’s nothing worse than waiting around. Plan and execute your plans now to give you that competitive advantage. They can always be reviewed and adjusted further down the line.
Know your Unique Selling Point
This is what sets you apart from the competition. Try to explain it in less than a minute.
Leverage your loyal customers
Use testimonials and case studies to sell your services to others.
Mailing lists should be maintained and managed
These allow you communicate with your customers and maintain the relationship on an ongoing basis.
Network, network, network
Nothing is more important than face-to-face interaction. The more people who know about you and your business, the more people can sell it for you.
Objectives need to be defined
And more importantly obejectives need to be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time based.
Product, price, place, proposition, promotion, people, process & performance
The Ps are the core elements of your marketing strategy. And each and every one is important.
Question your customers
The customer always knows best and ongoing research can help you satisfy and anticipate their needs.
Return on investment is vital
I mentioned it before, but I will mention it again – without a true return on investment your marketing activities are pointless. Ensure you set clear objectives and measure the return on all activities.
Say what you mean and mean what you say
Keep it simple and your customers will appreciate you for it.
Two heads are better than one
Use the people around you to help develop your plans and bounce ideas off.
Understand your customers and also your industry
Be an expert in your field.
Vision and Mission Statements are not just pretty words on a page
They should be used as a guide to all your business decisions.
Who, what, where, when, why, how and how much…
You need to keep asking yourself these questions to ensure you are delivering what your customers want.
Xtra mile every time
If you always try to over-deliver, you will have happy customers.
(Sorry, cheated on the X there!)
Yell it from the rooftops
Take every opportunity to tell everyone who you are, where you are and what you do.
Be current and relevant with you marketing plan, not just what you say, but how and where you say it.
Looking to develop your business’ marketing?
Get in touch now for a free marketing consultation.