Without customers, your business would not survive. Your business needs to understand the value of marketing campaign to attract and retain customers. People are unlikely to simply walk into your business and buy something from you if they don’t know who you are, what you are selling and why they should choose you over the competition.
Many smaller businesses don’t place enough importance on marketing. They often see it as something that requires a lot of money and fancy advertising campaigns. However, marketing is about much more than advertising and sales.
Why do I need a marketing plan?
Marketing planning assists you develop products and services in your business that meets the needs of your target market. Good marketing helps your customers understand why your product or service is better than, or different from, the competition.
A good marketing plan can help you to reach your target audience, boost your customer base, and ultimately, increase your bottom line. It’s often required when seeking to fund and helps you set clear, realistic and measurable objectives for your business.
Developing a marketing plan requires research, time and commitment, but is a very valuable process that can greatly contribute to your business success.
A marketing plan is a strategic document
One of the greatest advantages of developing a marketing plan is that it supports you to focus your resources and plan for your market growth.
Writing and researching for your marketing plan gives you a chance to:
- Identify your target market and understand how your product or service meets their needs
- Identify your competitors and what your target customers think about your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
- Position your brand, products, and services so that your target market sees your business as better than, or different from, the competition
- Set specific, measurable goals and timeframes for your marketing activities
- Map out a strategy to reach your target audience, including the messages, channels, and tools you will use.
You need to think that, how you are going to reach that target customer. Aside from traditional print and broadcast media, here are three tech-driven marketing channels that many of today’s business owners utilize.
Social media has become a basic part of businesses’ marketing plans because every type of customer is on some platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.
Figure out where your customers are spending their time and set up shop on those platforms. Develop a content strategy that can be executed internally, [and then] execute your strategy by posting branded content on your selected platforms.
Companies can implement email marketing techniques in some ways, including newsletters, promotional campaigns, and transactional emails.
The popularity of Smartphone and tablets has changed the way companies target their customers. Since people have the devices with them nearly all the time, companies are looking to implement strategies that reach customers on their gadgets.
A marketing plan is not a report or document you create once and store in your bottom drawer. It’s a living guide that you should develop as your market grows and changes. Set yourself a reminder to analyze your marketing plan regularly.
It’s important to have a marketing plan, but it’s just as important to keep it up to date.