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Drawing Up A Successful Small Business Marketing Plan

Feb 25, 2008
Every small business owner dreams of drawing up a good marketing plan, implementing it and seeing revenue increase. It is worth taking a look at the elements of a strategically relevant plan that is detailed enough for the business person to assess the suitability of a large number of available marketing tactics appropriate to the business concerned. There are seven key areas involved when it comes to creating a strong and efficient marketing plan for your business.

1. Vision. There has to be a marketing vision that mirrors the overall business vision. So for instance if you marketing vision is to expand your market into previously untapped markets but your business vision is to carry on doing the same old thing, the two are not matched. This will weaken your marketing efforts and produce negligible results.

2. Awareness. For your marketing efforts be effective you have to comprehend and accept the particular needs, concerns and assumptions of your target audience. If you neglect to do so the result will be poor communications and reduced return on investment.

3. Competition. It is vital to analyze your competitors in the marketplace whether direct, indirect or variable. Your direct competitors are self explanatory e.g. shoe shops compete directly with other shoe shops. Your indirect competitors compete for the same budget in the same general area e.g. movie theatres compete with restaurant for family entertainment spending. Variable competition refers to external factors that could disrupt your business e.g. a bridge is washed away in a flood preventing customers from reaching your offices.

4. Message. It is important to work out the communications element, i.e. the basic message, you want to get across to your audience. An inappropriate message could do your marketing campaign more harm than good. It could even benefit your competitors.

5. Media. Once you have clarity about your marketing message it is time to decide how precisely the target market is to be reached. Try to eliminate personal preferences from the mix. Just because you like SMS campaigns does not necessarily mean it is appropriate for your business or your target audience. Endeavour to use a wide selection of media.

6. Analysis. Determine how you are going to test, measure and tweak your marketing efforts in the short and long term. Build these methods into your marketing plan. This is very important. I would go so far as to say that you should eliminate any media where your efforts cannot be measured precisely. If your intention is to gain new markets then you must make sure that the success of this plan is measurable. This is the only way you will be evaluate and adjust your marketing campaign as required.

7. Funnels. These are marketing systems whereby you should define the process whereby your target audience is addressed, your prospects garnered, how they will be informed and how they will eventually become customers. By designing your funnel you will be able to streamline the process and instill continuity for staff and customers alike.

In dealing methodically with these aspects in your marketing plan you will be able to build a solid foundation for your campaign on which to base all your marketing efforts.
About the Author
James Copper is a writer for http://www.unitymarketing.com where you can find marketing plans
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