Step 23 - Your marketing plan

Published on 31st May 2019

Step 23 - Your marketing plan

A marketing plan is a vital part of your business plan. It is the part that plants seeds and keeps them watered and once harvested, repeats the cycle. If I were to say what I consider the two most important components of a business are (besides the actual product or service) they would be the marketing plan and monitoring (which includes financial control). Only you can decide what to include in your plan and what marketing tools to use but here is a checklist to help you select what is most appropriate:

Marketing tools:
Website
Flyers/brochure
Business cards
Videos on youtube and website
Articles
Social media
Your brand
A database
Testimonials
Newsletter/e-news
Special offers
Vouchers
Gift certificates
Email campaigns

For each marketing tool you select (website being an absolute must!) you should think about how you are going to use them to maximum effect and how they are going to work in conjunction with each other. So for example, if you decide you are going to do a special offer, you want to make sure that it is promoted via all your marketing tools and a checklist with help ensure this is the case. I know it sounds obvious but when you get busy things start to fall off the logical list, so get those checklists in place now.

Conversely, if you want to test the effect of a special offer and whether it does increase business and profit, you might choose just a selected few places where you promote it. Groupon is a web based discount voucher service that you might like to use to test your special offer.

Marketing Plan

1/ Ideally you should ensure that each of your services or products has:

Pre-product (an opportunity to trial or test what you do)
The product or service
A service product
A 2nd product

So a herbalist for example may give a free booklet, give a treatment, sell the herbs as a service product and offer acupuncture to augment the herbalism and keep the client for longer.

2/Follow up new markets following the results of the demographics analysis. Once you have some regular clients you will be able to create a customer profile of your typical client and market accordingly.

3/ Ensure developments and new products are communicated to your database

4/ Ensure Press releases are sent out when ever you have news

5/ Conduct market research for your industry and identify market opportunities

6/ Ensure  your USP and brand is communicated in everything you do

7/ Your website deserves a strategy all on its own. In general terms it should have:

A call to action- eg Phone now for more information/ for a free consultation
Testimonials
Prices
Films
Cross links to other pages
E-book or free downloads or article
Inbound links from other referring sites
Your key words (the words you clients will use to search for your services) scattered across your home page. Photos should also be named with your key words

 

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