Archive for November 2011

How to Write Your Own Business Marketing Plan

The first step of writing your business marketing plan is to understand what type of industry you are in.

Do people know what your line of business is, so they will call you and look for you in Yellow Pages? Have they bought from your business prior?

Or do you have the other kind of business where people don't know all about what you do, either because they don't know your industry exists as an industry, or they know a little bit about your line of business but aren't sure to know where to find you?

This is vitally important. The answer may seem obvious to you, but you must understand which type of business you are in as it greatly affects your business marketing plan creation.

The first business lends itself to websites, Yellow Pages, other phone directories, local newspapers and trade directories where you would be listed alphabetically. This may surprise you, but you don't need to get into unusual marketing strategies when you're an everyday, well known industry type like a plumber or electrician.

I call this type of business the "here I am" industry. In other words the customer already knows what your line of business is and what sort of products/service you provide. All you have to do is put yourself in front of the potential customers and let them know effectively with marketing, "here I am!"

What you do need to do if you're in this more common industry type is to become an excellent copywriter and redesign all of your marketing with proven advertising principles. Read every book you can on advertising as the words alone do make a massive difference to the response you get by running a promotion in the same place, one week to the next with a rewording of the ad.

Ask people in the street and your customers where they found you and you'll find they will normally just think to look for you in the common media places.

Now for the harder to market businesses. I call these "this is why you need me" businesses. In other words you have to explain to the customers why they would want to buy from you and how your product/service works in helping them in their lives.

These industries won't find much success with Yellow Pages. These industries need marketing like direct mail, letterbox flyers, newspaper/magazine inserts, websites (with much thought given to key word phrases), joint venture partners (or alliance partners).

So to write your business marketing plan you need to begin with the industry type you are in and work out which marketing strategy suits the industry you are in.

Next work out who your ideal customer is. What age, where do they live, do they have kids, what car do they drive, what's their income.

Then work out all strategies that are relevant to your line of business and which ones you can use to communicate in significant volume with your ideal customer. This isn't hard, most marketing books will tell you all manner of available strategies.

Now work out which strategy when implemented has the greatest potential for profit return instantly with the least amount of financial risk. This is important as many businesses chew up cash reserves at a rapid rate due to not understanding the business they were in, or by taking a risk on a strategy like TV advertising that costs a lot and can still fail to product profit enough to pay for itself.

Then work out the next most likely to succeed strategy and keep going. You don't need two dozen strategies. I've worked with businesses that grew 1,000 percent in 5 months just by using 4 marketing strategies.