How to Create a Winning Marketing Plan in 6 Simple Steps
Its surprising how many businesses open their doors without a business plan. You may not have to have every element of a business plan written down to be successful, but without financial projections and a marketing plan, you have no roadmap to success.
The marketing plan section of a business plan is generally a complex document requiring many hours of thought and planning. If youre a small businessperson and need something quick to get going, the plan need not be extensive, however, it should be written down, followed consistently and updated periodically. In order to get people started and avoid overwhelm, Ive devised a formula for a simple, straightforward marketing plan. It begins with a six-step outline and then progresses to a chart. Each of these can be completed in about 30 minutes and will provide the day-to-day marketing decisions every business owner needs to make.
1. Why: am I in business? What is the benefit to my customer? What is my vision?
2. Who: is my target market? Can I identify a specific niche?
3. Where: can I find them? Do they belong to certain groups, read specific media?
4. How: do I want to reach them? Will I give talks, go to networking events, do mailings, attend trade shows?
5. What: marketing materials do I need? Web site, brochure, newsletter, ads?
6. When: am I going to implement this strategy? What am I going to do and when am I going to do it?
Lets say youre opening a hair salon. The benefit to your customer is that you are open hours other salons are closed, in the evenings and on Sundays. Your target market is local professionals. You can find them in businesses in your area. You decide to reach them by holding a grand opening on a Sunday evening. You select a press release initially as your marketing material. You will send it to the local newspapers three weeks before the event.
Although it may seem simplistic, in reality this method is highly powerful. Whether youre a new or existing business, you need to be marketing continually. This plan will keep you on track, on time and on budget.
If you have any questions about this marketing plan or would like to get a FREE e-mail consultation to Clarify Your Project or Plan, contact us at email@example.com. For information on more in-depth marketing plans, see our resources page.
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