“You know that all other organization and company planning is driven by the marketing plan. Nothing happens until a customer hears from you. Nothing happens until something is sold.” - Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days
How Will You Benefit from Developing and Following Your Own Marketing Plan?
- You will earn more revenue per marketing dollar spent
- You will be able to see the return on your specific marketing efforts
- Your salespeople will know which prospects to target and what to say
- You will generate more indirect sales
- Your salespeople will enjoy more “warm” calls
Many companies are scattered in their marketing and sales efforts - they try one thing and then another. They go after one type of prospect and then after a different type of prospect. Many get frustrated from the lack of results generated by these scattered, inconsistent methods.
Building a marketing plan helps you take all your ideas and build them into a consistent, well-thought-out strategy about how to secure the highest profitability customers for the least amount of cost and effort. It helps you think through what you want to offer, to whom, why, and what you should do first, second, third, and so on.
Your marketing plan can be detailed or written on the back of the proverbial napkin. The real point is that you've thought through the process. Also, since it's written, you have a reference point to help keep you on target and a means to track your actual results.
In its most basic form a marketing plan answers these questions:
1) Who? - What kind of prospects are you going to target? Who are you going to target first? Second? Third? Why?
- If you try to go after all your prospective markets at once you are likely to fail in all of them. If you establish your company in one market and then maintain that presence as you add another market, you are more likely to succeed.
2) What? - What product or service would your first priority market be most likely to buy? Why? How would they benefit by choosing your offering?
- Be sure the product or service you choose is also capable of sustaining your company - something that is valued by your customers and profitable for your company is what you need to find.
- After you've established your product or service (or combination offering) in your market you can move to the easier sale of selling an additional offering to an existing customer.
3) Why? - Why would they buy from you rather than your competition?
4) Where? - How should you spread your sales and marketing efforts across the geography you ultimately want to cover?
- Again, firmly establishing yourself in one market before moving on to the next offers the best overall results.
5) How? - What marketing tools are you going to use? Where will your target prospects be looking? Do they read trade magazines? Use specialized search engines? Go to seminars? If you advertise in places where your prospects aren't looking it's a waste of money no matter how inexpensive the deal is.
6) How Much? - What effective methods can you use to market your company for only the cost of your time? What marketing tools will get you the most sales for the marketing dollars spent? Write down all your ideas, their costs, and then prioritize based on how much money you have to spend and the potential ROI of each.
Any step you take towards the development of your complete marketing plan will start increasing your marketing effectiveness so set yourself a goal of starting the first step this week!