Marketing planning kit for small business is to provide a quick framework to give an overview of what and why marketing planning is not just important…but the lifeblood of the overall marketing system.
Let’s get started…
2. MARKETING. WHAT IS IT?
For those who may still be confused about the term marketing, let me clear the air and say it is the real reason why you do business. Yes you are not in the business of selling ice creams, drilling teeth or online business, selling on eBay.
You are in the ‘Marketing Business’. It is the main component you need and the catalyst for business success or failure. The anvil that drives the profits home and exponentially.
Marketing is the educating, selling and promoting of your products / services to the right prospects in the right market. You need a strong demand for your products / services and not going out there to create a new niche (though this works if it’s done right).
Marketing provides the means by which your business projects itself to its audience, and also how it behaves and interacts within its market.
3. OK! SO HOW CAN MARKETING HELP MY BUSINESS?
Now that I got your attention, let me show you how marketing helps your business and puts ‘real’ money in your pocket.
First, having a well written marketing plan that clearly integrates with your marketing system tailored for your business makes profitable activities easy and achievable.
A lot of small business owners fail because they don’t have any marketing plan at all and if they do, it’s done the wrong way or not implemented at all.
Marketing helps to identify your target market, preferred clientele and shows how to develop a long-lasting relationship.
Which is where the real money is; that is on the back end (marketing jargon for what your clients buy after the first purchase).
4. MARKETING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Ok, now you understand how marketing can help your small business.
Do you have a clear or SMART goals and objectives?
By SMART, I mean your goals and objectives have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
There is no point having a goal that is not in line with your overall objective (or marketing plan).
What you can do now is take a close look at all the goals and objectives in your business, hold them under the scrutiny of the SMART.
Do they measure up?
Take a five minute break to closely assess your business goals and objectives, you might find hidden gems or ‘blocked pipes’. You never know until you try.
5. UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS BY BUILDING PROFITABLE RELATIONSHIPS
Let’s be clear, without customers you have no business. It is that simple.
Maybe you have heard of the statement, ‘build it and they will come’. Well sorry to bust your bubble that I think is not true.
The typical 21st century customer is savvy and is bombarded with loads of advertising messages. So why should they chose you if you don’t even know them, their changing needs and deepest concerns.
You can define client’s needs by identifying what they are interested in. At times these interests are easy to identify and not so easy. But the basic needs are always a good place to start.
By understanding who the client needs you know how to speak at his/her deepest desires, provide the tailored products / services.
And presto, a win-win relationship is achieved.
If I may ask you, do you have a database of customers?
I want you to identify your top 20% who spend more and make you 80% of your profits.
Find ways to meet their needs, by providing exceptional service. Why? They are so willing to do business with you.
Hey you need not be afraid of your competition. Why?
Knowing what your competition is doing can show you how to properly position your business to the customer. By carefully studying your competitors, you identify where they fall short, what is not offered to customers, marketing tactics etc.
Look you don’t have to discount (all the time) to beat the competition. There are various ways to dominate your market and even work with your competitors.
And guess what if you don’t know this information you are leaving money on the table, because every time your customers don’t use your products / services, they opt for the next guy’s.
7. MAKE YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WORK FOR YOU.
Don’t fuss about what to sell to your customers.
Don’t waste time and money on countless research and development.
All you have to do is simply, ASK.
Ask your clients what they want.
Why would you want to waste your profits on some stupid research when you can cut that out or re-direct it to producing more of what is demanded by your customers.
It’s that simple. Don’t make it complicated.
8. WHERE AND HOW DO I PROMOTE?
As I mentioned above you can’t just build and believe they will come.
You must recognise street smart and affordable ways to promote your business.
Should you use ads in local papers, internet marketing, direct mail, PR?
There are tons of ways to promote your business, selecting the right one depends on what your needs are, where your customers are, what do they read, who do they speak to etc.
The marketing planning process makes it easy to answer these questions and probably automate the process.
9. WHAT IS YOUR ACTION PLAN?
Knowing you need a marketing plan and system, the next best thing you can do is to create an action plan. This can be a template that can guide you through the process of implementing the strategies and ideas in a coherent manner.
Get to work and write a marketing plan for your business now.