Marketing isn’t simple, but it can be. To do it right, it requires a great deal of planning. Entrepreneurs and small businesses without massive marketing budgets have to handle this aspect of their business themselves, and for many, this is no easy task.
Therefore, businesses create a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a detailed document that includes the data you need to make marketing decisions and set a course of action that you can implement immediately. Drafting a marketing plan takes a great deal of time and work, but here are a few questions to get you started.
Who Is Your Target Market?
If you’re already selling, look at your existing customers. Who are they? What do they like about you sell? Try to recall any positive feedback you’ve gotten from them. Naturally, if your brand resonates with these individuals, it will resonate with others like them.
If you don’t already have customers, defining your target market may take a bit more work. Look at companies that offer similar products to yours. Who is buying from them? Who could benefit from your products? Try doing some market research to glean some idea of who your target market is.
What Makes Your Products Unique?
There are bound to be other companies out there selling services and products like yours. So, what makes you different? Why would someone buy from you and not your competition? Remember here that ‘products’ means your offering, which includes services as well. The term refers to whatever people buy from you.
If the unique qualities of your services or products don’t come to mind immediately, it’s time to do some work. Do some soul searching and look for the strengths of your products. If, in the end, you find that your product, unfortunately, resembles everything else on the market, how can you change it to make it unique?
What Do You Want Your Marketing to Achieve?
Every business takes for granted that it needs to market, but why? The ‘why’ is critical. You need to identify what you hope to achieve through your marketing because this will guide your efforts and help you choose which tactics are most appropriate.
Once you know who your target market is, what’s unique about your product or service, and what you want to get out of your marketing efforts, you’re ready to get started with your marketing plan.