By Debra Murphy
A marketing plan outlines all the important pieces needed to successfully and consistently market your business. A marketing plan does not have to be lengthy or complicated. Creating a simple marketing plan is something every small business should have to guide your efforts and keep you focused on your goals. Whether you want to focus solely on inbound marketing or you want to integrate online with off-line marketing activities, there are 10 important reasons why your small business needs a realistic but simple marketing plan.
A simple marketing plan allows you to:
Vision for your businessYour vision statement is a vivid description about what you want your business to be so that it inspires and motivates you. A well-defined vision creates a mental picture of the business that you are striving to build.
A clear vision statement benefits your business by:
What you want to accomplishResearch has shown a direct link between setting goals and the probability of success. By setting goals and writing them down you are forced to be specific about what you want to achieve, how you will get there and by when. Your marketing goals should be:
Your ideal target clientNever underestimate the importance of defining your ideal target audience. Understanding the needs of the unique group of people or businesses that you want to work with, who want or need what you have to offer and are willing to spend money to satisfy that need allows your business to provide tremendous value to those who need it the most.
Intimately understanding your ideal client means you know with certainty what problem they are trying to solve or what need they wish to satisfy. With this information, you can then:
What makes you differentThe Internet levels the playing field for small businesses, but in turn, it creates a very crowded market place. Those who can describe how they are different have a competitive advantage over those who cannot.
So how do you make your business stand out from the rest?
The secret to defining what makes your business different is to understand what your ideal client really wants and make sure you deliver it better than anyone else. What do you uniquely offer that your clients find amazing? Do you:
Your marketing road map for achieving your goalsYou wouldn’t take a trip without planning your route. Marketing your business is no different – you need a plan to guide you towards your destination. This plan defines the marketing strategies and the tactics within each strategy that you will use to achieve a particular goal. Marketing strategies and their associated tactics to consider are:
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An action plan to ensure successful executionYour marketing action plan eliminates random activities that create haphazard results. It defines each marketing campaign project in detail and assigns resources, dates and topics to each activity so that it eliminates the guess work.
You would need to create a lead magnet, a landing page and possibly use Facebook advertising to promote your lead magnet to the right audience. Once you get people to sign up for your email list, you then want a series of emails that can nurture each lead with valuable information.
With a detailed marketing action plan, you always know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it.
To remind you that this is your business and not a hobbyMost of us built our businesses around our passion and in doing so enjoy our work every day. However, if you are in business to be successful, then you need to view marketing as an investment and take the proper steps to ensure you are maximizing your resources. A simple marketing plan with an action plan to help you be consistent ensures you are focusing on the success of your business.
Have you created your simple marketing plan?
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