If you recently started a company, congratulations! Small business ownership is an exciting and rewarding venture. May you be successful long into the future.
One of your next steps needs to include the development of a marketing strategy. This helps you create a plan to advertise your new business. And if you’re an established business, you definitely need a marketing strategy in order to grow, or even maintain, your current customer base.
Keep in mind that your marketing plan is a fluid document. It needs to be based on thorough research, competitive positioning and attainable outcomes. This will form the foundation for your business activities over the coming months. Of course, you also need to be willing to redirect your plan according to what is successful.
Make sure you include these five components in your marketing plan.
- Market research. Collect and analyze data about the current market for purchasing your product/service. Be sure to include the following:
- Market dynamics, patterns and seasonality
- Customer demographics, market segment, target markets, needs and buying decisions
- Which products your competitors are offering
- Current sales in the industry
- Benchmarks in the industry
- Vendors you can rely on
2. Market strategies. Write down the marketing and promotion strategies to consider using. Include the following options:
- Networking where your market is
- Direct marketing with sales letters, brochures and flyers
- Advertising through print media and directories
- Training programs to increase awareness
- Writing articles and giving advice to become known as an expert
- Using direct or personal selling
- Generating publicity through press releases
- Participating in trade shows
- Advertising on your website
- Budget. Determine how much you want to spend on your marketing plan. Include the following considerations:
- Which strategies can you afford?
- What can you do in-house?
- What should you outsource?
- Marketing goals. Set marketing goals that include specific numbers. This may involve sales, profits or customer satisfaction. The following are examples:
- “Gain at least 30 clients this month”
- “Sell at least 10 products per week”
- “Increase my income by 30% this year”
- Monitoring your results. Test your marketing strategies to determine what works best. Consider using the following methods:
- Customer surveys
- Tracking leads
- Tracking sales
- Tracking visitors to your website
- Tracking your percent of sales to impressions
Need help developing your marketing strategy?
If you don’t have the time, resources, tools or expertise to develop effective marketing strategies in-house, BARQAR can help. Leverage our expertise to take your business to the next level and improve your brand presence, audience reach and generate ROI. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we can help you grow!