Home » Business » Marketing and Advertising

Creating The Perfect Marketing Plan

Aug 17, 2007
Marketing is one of the most important strategic decisions your company has to make to survive and the plethora of advice on how to market, who you market to and how much effort to put into marketing is overwhelming.

Modern marketing theory dates back to the 70's when a new data source on consumer demographics opened up: Credit card transactions. Now it was possible to buy data from credit card companies about what consumers in which areas bought what items, along with how old they were, their marital status and their credit ratings.

With this information in hand, marketing switched from a product marketing focus (how do we get our products in the hands of the most consumers) to a consumer marketing focus (what untapped needs and wants in the consumer space are out there and how to we meet them and be first to market in meeting them?).

Consumer-focused marketing and market research pervaded the entire retail tier, even down to super markets with their discount cards, tracking what consumers buy and how frequently, to tighten up their stocking levels on products.

Market research is important to your business and marketing, above and beyond the research is all about converting that research into generating leads for customers who want your services and converting those leads into buyers. Once they've bought your services or products, marketing is about maintaining the relationship with your customer, being responsive to their needs, finding out what they want and getting it to them before your competition does.

Most marketing plans can be broken down into three phases.

Phase 1 is defining and narrowing your objectives: Important questions to ask are: Who are our potential customers? What do they want or need that they aren't getting right now? How do we meet that need in the current market place? Understanding what the strategic landscape is, and knowing who your potential customers are is essential to any marketing plan.

Phase 2 is contingent on phase 1, and the important questions at this phase are: Who are our current customers? What are we doing to make them return to us, rather than look at the competition? Based on what they've bought from us before, what new product ideas, packaging or categories can we offer them to increase our perceived values in their eyes? How are we bringing information about our new products to our customer base? What are we doing to ensure brand loyalty? Understanding how your existing customers purchase in aggregate, and spotting trends in their needs is important for remaining nimble in your marketing plan. You don't want to abandon your current customers while searching for new ones.

Phase 3 is the most nebulous phase of your marketing plan and it requires a firm commitment to phases 1 and 2. As your business grows, you need to constantly look for new trends and product categories you can sell to your existing customer base and use to find new customers to add to them. It requires flexibility and planning and forethought.

Thinking through these three phases will greatly improve your marketing plan and bring success to your business.
About the Author
At Smarter Marketing you can view the 3-stage effective marketing strategy that will enable you and your organisation to create effective marketing communication that is accountable and generates both extra sales and revenue growth.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 110
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories