Hi there! This is part 2 of the 10 most asked questions about marketing.
I dealt with the top four questions last week. This week I will look at another three, and then in part 3 next week I will look at the last three as well as give you a 7 step process to create your own targeted marketing plan.
Here are the next three most common questions about marketing.
5 Is there a series of actions I can take to start?
Look out for part 3 of this series where I will give you a 7 step process to create your own targeted marketing plan.
However to start with there are some generic steps you can take:-
- Write up a list of your target customers and segment them (segment in a way appropriate to you – by type, age, buying habit, income level, geographic location, etc);
- Alongside each segment, identify their needs (not the features of your product, but the needs satisfied by the benefits your product brings);
- Decide on your pricing strategy by segment (discount, luxury, and so on);
- Find out where to reach your target customers (specific magazines, clubs, area leaflet drops, social media, etc);
- Make the offer, utilising a message that speaks to their niche and needs.
6 How do I come up with the right marketing strategies?
Your marketing strategies are your map directions to get what you want. Like reading any map, you do the initial work first to decide where you want to go (target market) and then you plan your route. There may be multiple or alternative routes, and in your marketing, there may be multiple or alternative marketing strategies to reach your target customer. Where you “want to go” will depend on your marketing objectives such as:-
- increase your sales within existing markets
- broaden your market for existing products
- develop new products to sell to existing markets
- diversify into new markets with new products
In order to create actionable (and realistic) strategy, you may need to focus on one objective at a time.
Once you have identified your marketing objectives, your target market and their needs, you can ask – in relation to them:-
- where are you now?
- where do you want to be?
- what strategy can I use to get me there?
7 How often should I be reviewing my marketing plan?
The best approach is to build in a monitoring and measurement plan when you write your marketing plan. As in all plans, you absolutely need to measure every action to see if it is getting you closer to the result you want. If you run a marketing activity – say a leaflet drop – measure cost against response. If you organise a week of special offers, compare the sales against a week without the special offers.
In making activity-specific measurements, you can then monitor progress once a month. If things are going according to plan, you can reduce this to once every 2 months. If the results are less than desired, look to adjust activity.
Your marketing plan may be for a period of 2 or 3 years, but I prefer an annual marketing plan myself. In this way you can focus on clearly defined objectives and monitor against those objectives. In that 12 month period while monitoring activity and results every month or twice a month, I would plan to conduct a formal review every 6 months to see if the next 6 months’ plans need to be adjusted.
Next week I will deal with the last three of the 10 most frequently asked questions about marketing. If you don’t want to miss that, click here to register your name and email and I will send it directly to your inbox, along with other free weekly tips and resources to grow your business.
If you are a small business owner and have realised you need a marketing plan in order to target your most likely customers in order to grow your business the way you dreamt, but you just don’t know how to start, you don’t have to spend tens of thousands on a consultant. Once you find out my 7 easy steps to create your own targeted marketing plan, you will find the easiest strategies to reach the customers you really want to serve. Find out more about my SMART Marketing system and get three free gifts to help you on the way to join a virtual workshop where I will take you through to creating your marketing plan, step by step, from scratch.