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Growing a Business Starts With a Good Marketing Plan

Aug 18, 2007
Turning a growing business into a successful business takes patience, an understanding of your customers and ingenuity in creating a strong marketing plan that is unique to your product and service. Grabbing attention from potential clients can mean the difference between a business that survives and a business that thrives!

Marketing is a term that is often used synonymously with "advertising." But it is more than that. Advertising sells a product, while a good marketing plan sets your business and your product and service apart from the pack, and makes you an industry leader that everyone turns to. Marketing is more than a selling tool; it is a way to build long term relationships with clients in order to create an environment that entices future business.

Understanding Your Clients/Customers:
Statistics show that 80% of most sales come from a mere 20% of a businesses client base. The best way to increase results among that 20% is to get to really know your customers. Research is vital when marketing to existing customers. Some things you'll need to know before implementing a new marketing strategy are:

-Who your current clients are
-What your clients needs are
-Why they use your product or service
-When they use your product or service
-Why they buy your product and service
-How your product or service can better benefits both your existing customers, as well as future clients

Getting To Know Your Competition:
No matter what business you're in, there's always a similar one on your coat tails, trying to better position themselves in your market. Customers can be fickle, and may decide to jump ship if they think they'll get a better deal elsewhere. The best way to prevent losing customers to new or existing competitors is to keep a close on what's going on in the industry and who the new players are. Take special care to watch for promotions and marketing schemes that may help your competitors lure away your customer base.

Find A Market Niche:
Customers are always on the look out for something new and different. Maybe they want to keep using your tried and true product because of its quality or availability. Don't take their loyalty for granted. Always be on the lookout for better prices; special offers; more selection, virtually anything that will interest them into ordering again and again and again.

Niche marketing can be a good way to keep the customers you have and gain new ones from word of mouth advertising. Some businesses are known for their great prices; while other charge more, but rely on their high quality to make the sale. What is your business "known" for? If the answer is nothing, your next marketing plan should start there.

Limit Yourself:
No one (or business) can do it all - and you shouldn't try. Don't try to have the best prices, biggest selection and highest quality in town. Figure out what your customers want and expect and then give it to them in the best way you know how. Trying to be too many things to too many people will result in weak expectations; poor sales; and dwindling customer loyalty.

No matter what type of marketing plan you devise, the key is to know your customer; be prepared to give them what they want and need; watch your competition and find your own niche in the industry. Once you can accomplish that, any marketing strategy is bound to work.
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