Smart startup owners recognize the need to have a small business marketing plan. It outlines your organisation’s route to success. One essential part of that plan is your marketing strategy.
An in-depth layout of your advertising strategy and marketing outreach can reveal opportunities for a new target market, potential product line, competitive advantages and pricing insights.
An advertising and marketing plan describes who your customers are and how you intend to reach them.
Below are a few critical points to remember when creating your small business marketing plan.
Small Business Marketing Plan Essentials
1. Know your niche
This is arguably the most important step. You need to know who your target audience is before you can devise a marketing plan.
Identify your potential customers, understand their needs and recognise their struggles. Then learn how your business can help them resolve their hassles.
2. Develop clear insight into what your business does
Understand how your business, product and service fits into the lives of your customers. What problems do you solve for your customers?
Do you help to make their lives easier? Be
admired by others? Save them time?
Think of how to design or redesign your offering in a manner that helps your customer better than your competition can.
3. Know your competition
In our highly competitive world, there will always be businesses that will readily fight for the same target customer base.
By taking time to study your competition, you’ll understand them more indepthly. You understand what they offer, their business model, their competitive advantages and how they would respond to your actions.
With this knowledge, you can plan your action to develop your industry niche and strategise to prevent your competition from luring your customers away.
4. Startup Business Marketing Plan – Brand Position
Ultimately, your logo and what it symbolizes to clients can be your most powerful advantage.
Know where you sit in the industry and focus on being the best player there.
State how you will service your patrons and starve off the competition. Have a single minded focus on providing the best value while taking care of your customers’ needs.
If you are already running an established business, it might be wise to hire external experts to audit your firm.
An audit can help identify weaknesses, areas for improvement and untapped strengths too.
How the market views your products and brand is as important as how you view yourself. Ensure that your customers interpret your brand story as you intend them to.
Now you know the pillars of your plan, you need to decide how to reach your potential customers.
Aside from traditional media, embracing technology driven marketing channels can greatly increase your outreach while lowering your marketing costs.
6. Social media
Social media has emerged as a vital part of corporations’ marketing plans.
Small business owners may feel overwhelmed by the opportunities but it is well worth putting aside time and budget to understand how better to utilise these channels.
Understand where your clients are spending most of their time and concentrate on these platforms.
You don’t have to become an expert in social media marketing. You just need to understand the concept.
You should hire external consultants or agencies to run your social media campaigns. This free up time and allow you to concentrate on your core business competencies.
The money is in the list.
This saying is very true. If you have a list of leads, potential customers and buyers, you can implement email marketing techniques in a myriad of ways.
You can send newsletters to get your list to know and understand your brand better. You can run promotional campaigns to sell your products or invite your list to attend your events.
Remember to segment your email list so that you only send appropriate emails to each segment.
Segment from the onset and continue to segment based on subscriber activity. This will reduce your unsubscribe rate, increase your open rate (OR) and click through rate (CTR).
If you do not, most of your emails will just become spam. That would be detrimental to you and your business.
8. Optimise For Mobile
The popularity of smartphones and tablets has changed the way companies reach out to their audiences.
A little more than 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices and the 70 percent of online purchases come by way of them too.
Since people have these devices with them most of the time, you should optimise your content and advertising for mobile consumption.
9. Tracking and Monitoring
Create a well defined list of goals, actions and budgets. Assign personnel to each and track the results.
This will allow you to gather data for analysis. You can identify your ROI for each channel and each stage of your funnel. Making data based decisions will help you improve your processes without guesswork.
Thereby, moving you towards your desired outcomes as you undertake the necessary adjustments.
It is important for a startup or small business to have a marketing plan.
It defines the direction of the organisation, identifies the path to reach its goals and establishes the brands market position.
So invest time and budget and get down to working on your business marketing plan.
You can find more tips for developing a business marketing plan, measuring and interpreting your marketing results from Blazing Conversions.