There are times when a business needs an extensive marketing plan. You know, the kind you pay for – or spend a lot of your time pulling together.
For example, you may need one if you are applying for a business loan, or seeking other types of funding.
As your business grows, and you add more products or services or expand to larger markets, you may need a more detailed approach for your marketing efforts.
But the thought of creating such a plan raises so many questions. How much will it cost if I outsource? How much time will it take if I do it myself? Where do I begin? How will I find the time?
What ends up happening is that task of creating a marketing plan for your small business gets placed on the back burner – to be done another day. And that day never seems to arrive.
Virtually everything goes better with a plan, and marketing is no exception.
A basic marketing plan is way better than no plan at all, so that’s why we’ve created this guide and a free worksheet to help get you started. If you’re short on time, just do one step a day. Within a week you will have a marketing plan.
Marketing Plan How-To
Creating a basic marketing plan is as simple as answering these questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. I’m going to mix up the order a little bit, so stick with me.
Start with the “What.” What is it that you are trying to sell? This, of course, would be your product or service.
Who is your target audience? Get specific here, because “everyone” is not a target audience. It’s really important to hone in on your ideal customer.
Why does your ideal customer need your product or service? What are the reasons that your product or service is a solution for your ideal customer?
Where can you best reach your ideal customers? Facebook? Do they listen to local radio? Where are they spending their time?
I recommend that you come up with the top five places. Don’t choose random marketing options. Try to find out where your ideal customers are.
This step may take a little time and some research, but it will be well worth it. Delivering your message in multiple places to your target audience increases your ability to get noticed by them.
This step digs a little deeper. There are really two how’s. How much money do you have to spend and how will you spend that money?
How are you going to go about reaching your target audience? You already have the foundation in place. You have identified where your audience is.
Now you need to take your budget into account. How much do you have to spend?
How will you spend it? You may decide to invest a portion of it into social media advertising. Perhaps, you will spend another portion in a local event sponsorship. Write those specifics into your plan.
Also, how will you define your success and how will you measure it? You may define your success in sales numbers, website clicks, social media engagement, etc. Make sure you have a process in place or access to analytics tools to help you measure your progress.
When will you activate your marketing campaigns?
Create an annual calendar for your marketing outreach and use the decisions you made in the previous steps to build out a strategy for the next 12 months.
If you count on the holiday shopping season, back-to-school, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day etc. to help you meet your revenue goals, obviously, you will want to invest more of your marketing dollars during the time of year when your customers will be most likely to be looking for your product or service.
There you have it – Wobizzle’s Super Simple Guide To Creating A Small Business Marketing Plan.
S0…go ahead and get started. Download our free worksheet and you will be on your way!