“My sales aren’t where they need to be!” You’re sure of that but coming up with a marketing plan to get more business can be hard!
If you can’t tell a marketing plan from a marketing strategy, I can help. Here are the steps to develop a successful campaign to reach your business goals and make more money.
A lot of marketing terms are confusing, so, first, I want to define what some of them mean.
Whether you choose digital or more traditional marketing, you will use these four elements.
Marketing is the entire process of transferring goods or services from the producer to the customer. It includes determining what people want, delivering it, and evaluating consumer satisfaction.
Promotion includes most of what we do to encourage people to use a product or service through advertising or publicity.
Public relations is a planned approach to helping people think well of your business or product, usually through free articles in the mass media or by connection to charitable organizations or events.
Publicity is a story or article carried by the mass media. We can’t control the slant of the story but, we hope it encourages people to use our product or service by presenting a good image to the public.
Advertising. Everyone knows this one! Paid announcements to promote products or services.
Identify Your Brand & Get Tons of Raving Fans
Branding has two parts.
1) establishing a strong link between a company and its logo/typeface/picture or name/phrase.
2) developing the ‘personality’ of your product and service, establish the characteristics that should come to mind when people think of you. Branding helps build loyalty.
Raving Fans. This term is the title of a book by Ken Blanchard and has become a common word to describe people who have such good opinions of your business they influence others to use it.
Achieve Your Marketing Goals
A marketing strategy is the overall marketing goal; you need to complete your business plan. It is the ‘thinking’ that happens before you start ‘doing.’
The marketing plan is your action plan to fulfill your strategy.
Implementation is the actual process you will take to achieve your marketing plan.
Equally importantly, you will want to Analyze as you implement each step in your marketing plan and ask these questions:
- Are you getting the results you want?
- Have you given it enough time?
- Can you change or improve your results or is it time to try something new?
- What is the dollar return on your marketing investment?
Define Long-Term and Short-Term Goals to Get Results
By now, you’ve defined your Target Customer and identified your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). You can use that information to keep your marketing strategy in line with who your customer is and the benefits they need.
Even if you hire a marketing agency, to do a good job, they will need this information. When I write for a business, this is the first information that I need in order to effectively target content.
I love acronyms. I really do! They help us remember things that are important and here’s a good one to help with setting goals.
S-M-A-R-T Goals are:
Specific Is your goal defined?
Measurable Can you track your goal?
Aspirational It should inspire you, so go for it!
Realistic Is it an attainable goal?
Time-Bound When do you want to reach this goal?
It is helpful to set financial goals as well as other benchmarks you want your business to reach; both long-term, maybe five years, and short- term, perhaps six months.
Don’t make it too complicated at this point; I’d suggest just a couple of goals, so you don’t get stuck her
A Great Tool- The Four P’s of Marketing
Briefly, the four P’s are:
Product (or Service) What do you have that your customer will want? Why will they want it? What makes it unique or different?
Price- Obviously, what you charge, but it is it a good value for what you offer? How does your price compare with competitors?
Place- Where can people get it? Online? In a store?
Promote- What are you going to do to convince people to use your product or service?
You should already have this information figured out from your UVP, but it’s helpful to put it in this format.
To better understand the 4 P’s of marketing, watch this short video.
The Last Acronym for the Week…A.I.D.A.
This mnemonic stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action; and it describes the process a person goes through as they move from ‘not knowing you exist’ to becoming a customer.
Your mission is to find out ways to move them along. First, you must decide where your potential clients are.
A– Are they even aware you exist?
I– How interested are they? Can you demonstrate you can help them solve a problem?
D– Do they want what you have to offer?
A– How can you help them take action on that belief?
For instance, if your plan calls for increasing the average sale total for each customer, your marketing will be different from a startup that is trying to let potential buyers know that they exist.
The next article will return to our fictional business, Bob’s Auto Repair, and show you how he might work through this process.
In the meantime, please contact me if you have any questions or comments.