It is no secret that every business needs a business plan, yet what most entrepreneurs don’t realize is that a marketing plan is equally essential. Unlike a business plan, marketing plan focuses on acquiring and retaining customers – to be honest, this whole thing is strategic, involves numbers, facts, graphs and proper objectives. A great marketing pan will have all the tools and tactics that are required to meet your sales goals. It is a plan of action – what you wish to sell, your target audience, and the methods you’ll employ to convince them to buy your product that results in sales. A marketing plan does not have to be fancy, lengthy or beautifully written. You just have to use some bullet points to get right to the statement. This article will give you a closer picture on how to come up with a good marketing plan, which will help you generate leads. Read along:
- The first thing you might have to do is to have a good understanding of your niche market whether you run a restaurant or a retail clothing store. Not only do you identify you target audience, but you also have to find out what your competitors are offering. This will help to formulate a strategy to prove how your product is of a better value. You need to analyze your product and then compare it with other competitive products, and distinguish what is better about your product. You should have a thorough overview of all of your company’s past history and business, in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses in the business. This whole analysis is referred to as situation analysis.
- You then have to come up with a simple profile of your prospective customer – age, sex, family, composition, geographic location, earnings, ethnicity, lifestyle, etc. Ask yourself the following questions: Are your customers conservative or are they innovative? How often do you want them to buy your product? Are they extroverted or introverted? Are they modern or are they traditional? You ask questions in order to define your target audience in the best possible way.
- After you’ve profiled your target audience and done a situation analysis, you have to jot down the objectives of your marketing plan. What do you want to achieve through your marketing plan? Make a list.
- List down the marketing strategies you might want to use – advertising, public relations or direct marketing. There are permission based emails, loyalty programs, customer appreciation events, marketing messages, etc.