It is amazing to learn the number of businesses that do not invest anything into their marketing. They foolishly think that a large number of people will just find their business because their product or service is so amazing. If you are one of these business owners, you will be in for a rude awakening when your business is not receiving a steady flow of business and is losing money in the process.
Marketing is important because it communicates the existence of your business to the marketplace. It also works to communicate the value of your business so that consumers understand what to expect from your products or services. Marketing will involve you investing your time and money into ensuring that it produces the desired results. Therefore, you will need to develop an effective marketing plan that guides you towards implementing the marketing activities that work very well.
The purpose of your marketing plan is to ensure that you are meeting your marketing goals and using your allocated marketing budget wisely. You will need to analyze your results weekly, monthly, or quarterly so that you are aware of how well your marketing plan is working. If it is working, double down on what you are doing. If it is not working, learn where the disconnection is occurring and adjust accordingly.
Why is Marketing Important?
This is a question that should not even have to be asked. Marketing is the communication a business does to gain the attention of its target consumers. Without marketing occurring there is no way for information to be exchanged that puts your business in the mind of your customers.
We are shown marketing images constantly throughout the day. From the commercials we see on the television to the billboards we see when driving down the highway, marketing is happening all around us even if we are oblivious to what it is.
You were blasted with marketing images as you scrolled through the internet and landed on this article. Your web searches become the data that marketers use to show you different marketing messages on Facebook and other websites that show marketing messages.
So if your business is not marketing itself, you can be assured that your competition is placing as much investment in its marketing as possible. They want the attention of the marketplace. They want their phones ringing off the hooks. They want the demand for their products to outpace their supply. Don’t you want the same type of results?
Of-course you do, which is why you should be investing in your marketing. Marketing can take you from an unknown business to a business that everyone wants to purchase from. The way this happens though is by constantly pushing your business to your target audience. When they constantly see your business being presented to them, they will finally want to learn more in order to see what you are all about.
Persistence is the key, which is probably why you do not invest into marketing. You probably want immediate results. Which means you want your marketing to do the sale for you, instead of you having to close the deal. Well. that is not going to happen unless you are selling iPhones.
Therefore, your business will need to develop a marketing strategy that helps your company achieve stellar marketing results. Your marketing plan will need to outline your desired company vision, and lay out the steps of how your marketing activities will help you accomplish this vision
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What can a Marketing Plan do for Your Small Business?
A well-designed marketing plan helps you understand the needs of your target market, determine your competitive position in the marketplace, determine the activities that will help you engage your target market, and learn how to differentiate yourself from your competitors so that you know how to sell effectively.
Your marketing plan should help you turn an interested person into a warm prospect that easily moves through your sales funnel. This is why you must learn the triggers that will make people want to learn more about what you have to offer. Marketing is about learning the desires and motivations of your target market. Once you understand these factors, you then put yourself in the position to create the type of marketing content that they cannot ignore.
Think of how many major corporations were once small businesses. These companies transformed themselves into international brands by utilizing effective market. The marketing activities they utilized produced the sales that spurred the growth of their small business. Under Armour is a perfect example of how this works. In just 20 years, due to the marketing of how great their product is, Under Armour is now a major competitor of Nike.
Your Marketing Budget
You will need to have a budget that outlines your estimated marketing expenses within your marketing plan. This budget will determine the costs of each marketing activity and give a timeframe of when each activity is supposed to achieve its designated goal.
This is important because you do not want to spend money recklessly. Doing so will make it hard for you to further invest in your marketing because your money has been spent on activities that did not produce any results. If your marketing is not producing any results, then that means you have not really researched your target market and marketplace.
If you are not in the financial position to outsource your marketing needs or hire an expert in-house, then you will need to understand how to market your business yourself. There are many resources available to you that can help you learn the required information. You can learn this information from blogs, websites, podcasts, and videos. Take the knowledge given by these experts and implement them for yourself so that you can start producing better results.
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Bend Your Budget When Necessary and Keep an Eye on ROI
A developed marketing budget does not mean that your plan is set and can never be adjusted. There will be times when you will need to adjust your marketing plan because an opportunity presents itself that is too good to pass up. You may come across a trade show that will have attendees who fit your target demographic. Or you may want to host an event to bring people to you. You will need to determine if staying within your budget is producing a significant ROI or if you have room to improve. You do not want to be stuck doing something that only is bring in half the results you have outlined to be achieved.
This is why you want to include a plan that measures how much money you are spending. You will need to determine the impact your marketing activities are having on your overall revenue. If they are generating more money, they are worth continuing. If you are losing money, then you have a problem that needs to be immediately taken care of.
Analyze why certain marketing tactics worked well and why others did not produce the desired results. You want to determine if the underperforming activities need to be cut or if they can be adjusted to perform better. Whatever you decide to do, you cannot sit around and waste money on those activities that do not generate money.
There will be some marketing activities that are hard to measure their effectiveness. This will be your print material. Although you can place a note on these material that say refer to them when making contact with your business. This way you can measure if people are actually reading these materials and contacting your business because of them.
Your marketing plan needs to be revisited frequently — annually at a minimum. If you are introducing a new product or service, it needs to have its own marketing plan developed so that it is given the ability to succeed. This is important because every product or service might not serve the same exact person. As you diversify into other niches, you will need to effectively communicate how your product or service produces value for the consumer when used.
Your marketing plan is very important to invest in because it is how you connect with your target market. You want to ensure that you have a strong plan that allows you to consistently engage with your target market. This will allow you to remain a constant presence in the marketplace so that you can increase the exposure of your business.
If you do not currently have a marketing plan how is that working out for you? You most likely do not have a consistent flow of customers and are struggling to keep your business afloat. You can eliminate these struggles if you chose to take marketing more seriously.
Remember that you cannot produce sales without marketing. Marketing produces the leads who can be converted into customers. The more people you have contacting you because of the marketing content they viewed, the better your chances of creating a new customer. So what is stopping you from creating your marketing plan?
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