But, the problem is those entrepreneurial possibilities are very big when it comes to different marketing approaches in a small business.
What we need is a high-quality marketing plan that will help us to implement different marketing tactics, achieve our marketing goals and overall business goals, and iterative improvement of our next activities.
Probably, you already have seen entrepreneurs that market their business on an occasional level. They try different tactics, different activities, and different approaches. But, there are no results, because they not have a systematic approach that will guarantee success and ensure continuous improvement in every future step.
Such a systematic approach in marketing can be ensured with a marketing plan.
Do you have a marketing plan?
Here are 8 questions that each marketing plan needs to answer:
1. What you need to achieve?
You probably have your overall business goals for each year. They can be the increasing sale by 20% from the previous year. But, what your marketing needs to make to achieve those goals? It can be increasing the customer base for 20% or increasing awareness for your small business at your target market or maybe launching a new product or service…
Your marketing plan needs to start with answering this question.
2. Who you want to attract?
When you know what are the goals of your marketing activities in your small business you need to define your target market. Who do you need to attract if you want to achieve the goals?
One of the biggest mistakes is to try to attract everybody. Don’t make such a mistake because you can’t please everybody. On the other hand, you will lose your time, efforts, and money to attract persons that can’t be your customers. Because of that it is important for you and your business to define your target market, and probably more important precisely define your ideal customers. All of the marketing efforts will be on them. You can see the difference immediately.
3. How will look like your marketing funnel?
Each effort that you will make to attract the right customers and convert them into the buyers will be implemented through several levels of conversion. You need to know that in most cases, you can’t attract new customers and immediately make them a buyer for your business. Your marketing efforts need to pull them from one starting level to the final buying level. Because of that, your marketing plan needs to be clear about how will be designed the whole marketing funnel.
4. What you will use at different levels in marketing funnel?
When you know what you want to achieve, you know your ideal customers, and you have designed your marketing funnel you need to plan your tactics. How you will pull your ideal target customers from simple awareness to the buying decision. This process sometimes will last several months, but sometimes years. It depends on the business type, market, and industry. But, more important is that your marketing plan needs to cover all tactics for different levels of the funnel for the period that you think is the most appropriate to happen the desired conversion.
5. How much we can spend on activities to pull potential customers from one level to another in our marketing funnel?
Another important question that needs to be answered is about the budget. Because you already have tactics and goals, this will be a simple task. Simply, you need to allocate a specific budget for each tactic you want to implement.
6. Who will be responsible for the implementation?
A plan without responsibility is not a real plan. It is important for you to delegate implementation responsibilities for each of the tactics that need to be implemented.
7. What are the expected results from your efforts?
You need to achieve the goals. But, also you need to know how each of the tactics will contribute to the goal achievements. This question is basic for future improvements in your marketing efforts.
8. What I need to improve in my next marketing plan?
Now, that you have analyzed the results you achieved through this marketing planning process, you can identify and start implementing the improvements of the whole process.