Welcome to the final chapter of the series on 10 FAQ’s of marketing.
This week, I will finish by looking at the last three FAQ’s on marketing, and then take you through the SMART Marketing system of 7 steps to write your own, highly focused, marketing plan.
Let’s start with the last three FAQ’s of marketing.
8 What are the mistakes I could make?
Planning is everything – and yet even with careful planning some things could go wrong. The key is to be ready for this.
What mistakes could you make?
You may be just too enthusiastic and plan unrealistic timetables. Expect things to take longer than you plan. Allow time wasting and slippage, and allow extra costs.
You run out of energy because you dive into doing everything. Marketing plans are about allocating the best use of your resources – getting the biggest bang per buck – not about covering every small and wasteful opportunity. Apply the 80/20 rule and target big opportunities instead of every warm body that passes the door.
Don’t expect miracles from the internet. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is an amazing opportunity to target your reach at the same time as reaching far. However getting found is not easy despite what internet marketing “gurus” tell you.
Don’t expect miracles from your first ad placement. Marketing gurus will tell you of the drip method of marketing where you release information and marketing about your product over time, and gradually build up credibility. If you cannot afford sustained advertising, look to other marketing campaigns.
Pricing. Yes, you can get your pricing wrong. I don’t mean that you might calculate your costs incorrectly and forget to build in a sufficient profit – I mean your pricing strategy. It is difficult to match a price to a perceived value, and even harder if it is a new product. My take on it? Start with a higher price because you can always offer reductions for volume, or special sales, or other discounts. Once you price too low, it’s infinitely harder to increase your prices.
9 Can I forecast my sales from my marketing?
Funny that in a technique dealing with numbers, sales forecasting is less of a science than an art – the art of choosing best alternatives.
You can certainly establish marketing objectives in terms of the amount of increased sales, and then measure success accordingly. However be careful of making sales forecasts based on over-optimistic expectations of the results of marketing.
An established business can base forecasts on past performance – analyse the events that led to increases in the past. Was it because of a marketing activity? You can then use that evidence to forecast the effect of the same or similar marketing activity.
Startups can look at competitors or obtain information from publicly available statistics and try to gauge the effect of marketing activity – and base the ultimate choices on objectives that you can adjust once actual evidence is obtained from early sales.
10 How do I work out if it all works?
Ideally you would track every marketing activity and the sales from every customer. However that’s just not practical.
So remember the 80/20 rule. In most businesses, 80% of the results come from 20% of the customers. So track the results of your marketing activity by tracking what happens with the top 20% of your customers.
Measure the sales from these customers before any new marketing activity, and then measure what happens after each marketing activity. Monitor the number of contacts you make with these customers and their reaction in new sales. Monitor new enquiries by identifying which marketing activity they came from – just ask them!
Marketing is the most important activity in your business. Without marketing, despite the best product, you have no sales!
These 10 FAQ’s on marketing will start you thinking about what you have to do and how to do it. If you’ve missed the first 7 FAQ’s go to teikoh.com and look out for them, along with the tons of free ideas, tools and resources to grow your business.
But if you have come upon the realisation that you really do need a marketing plan to grow your business, but you just don’t know how to start or if you think you have no time, you need to understand my 7 easy steps to create your SMART Marketing Plan.
Here are the 7 steps:-
- Identify your real product – you are not actually selling what you think you are selling. For example you are not selling a power drill, you are actually selling a hole in the wall! Find out what is your real product in the eyes of the customer.
- Identify your real market – target your market segment. If you sell to everyone in general, how do you speak to them in a way that means something real to them? If you segment your market, your niche, you can then create messages aimed directly at that niche.
- Match the requirements of your target market – find out the needs of the target market, and make sure your business can meet those needs, not only from the product, but from your promises, service and after-sales.
- Choose your most appropriate pricing strategy – match price to the perceived value.
- Identify the most appropriate marketing activities – to match the stage of the sales funnel your targets are in, and to seek them out where they congregate.
- Develop the campaign plan across a 12 month period and make it SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, result-oriented, and time-based.
- Put it all together into a document that you can implement immediately – and build in accountability and measurement systems.
If you know you need a marketing plan, and you don’t want to spend thousands hiring a consultant, but you don’t know how and you don’t think you have time, you need my SMART Marketing online workshops and training. Once you discover how easy it is to follow each module step by step from scratch, you will be relieved at how little time it takes out of your busy day.
In the online program I take you through each of the 7 steps, in a virtual workshop, so that you work on the tasks in each step with me on screen in front of you. Don’t waste time reading up lots of marketing books and then failing to find the time to follow through – I have read them for you and distilled all the knowledge into these 7 online modules that you can complete within 7 days.
Click on here to get three free gifts that will show you how a great marketing plan is easy to put together using your knowledge of your business and my methodology and find out more about SMART Marketing.