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Marketing Plan – the basics

Monday, we talked about strategy vs plan.  Today’s post is all about the plan and what it should include.  This is based on a traditional Marketing plan.  Now we are talking about online business and PR here. Let’s not forget, but this kind of plan can be implemented as such, as long as the bones are all in place!

It should include:

  1. Details of your product or service and its Unique Selling Point

  2. Pricing

  3. Target Market

  4. Analysis

  5. Sales and distribution plan

  6. Advertising and promotions plans.

If you work under these six headings you should not go wrong!  Every business, whether big or small should implement a marketing plan.  It’s the only thing that will drive you forward.  You will notice the tiniest of changes that affected sales, response, etc. and without the feedback, you will not get any better at what you do!  Don’t be afraid to ask people what they think of your business!

So let’s start at the beginning.

  1. Your company and its USP.  Write down what it is you provide. Think about what your USP is and document it.  There is value in writing things down.  Why would people benefit from using you? Benefits are important.  They can be tangible or intangible. Ask others what they think of your company.  Clients, friends, family. Use social media communities to create surveys or polls.  NEVERthink you know – you will always learn something!

  2. Pricing.  IF you are offering a service or a product, how have you come to price this?  Is it competitive and will you]profit?

  3. Target Market.  By using social media, your unique mailing list, plus understanding and analyzing your competitors, you should be in a great place to work out who and what is your target market.  You should also be able to find out where they ‘hang out’ online and understand what they need and want from you.  It’s so important to understand who you are selling to and be clear to know why they should use you and not someone else.

  4. Analysis. By using analytics tools online, again it has never been easier to track traffic, understand where they are coming and wherethey are not and also which social media sites are working for you best.  In my post………we covered my favorite sites for keeping track of your market.  Have you tried any of these yet? I would love to hear your feedback!

  5. Sales and Distribution.  The main attraction in most peoples business we hope!  Making money!  So how do you get people to buy your product or service?  This part of the plan should detail exactly that.  Now I was taught that there were 3 parts to the S&D.  Describe the distribution methods, outline the transaction process and also outline how you will sell it.  But, as many small businesses are one man bands and I work a lot with individuals and we are talking about online methods here, it’s not hard to work out that if you are offering a service or a product, your customers need to know how they can pay for usage.

  6. Advertising and promotions.  I’m not going to go into the ways in which we can advertising and promote your company and business online right now, because that’s what I get paid for! – But this is the fun bit as far as I am concerned. And we really are living in a ‘no holes barred’ era so get creative!

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