- Marketing ensures that the
- customers become aware of your offerings. It is effectively everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers and then increase the chances that they will say “yes” to buying what you have to offer. It includes aspects of: advertising, sales, public relations, branding, pricing; and for product sales, packaging and distribution strategies.
Here are some key points to remember when approaching your marketing plan:
Let’s look at each of those points in more detail.
- Marketing is about creating awareness
- Marketing works best when you are targeting the right customer
- Marketing is an on-going strategy – not a one-off activity
- Your marketing plan will most likely change over time
- Marketing should have a budget
1. Marketing is about creating awareness
- Marketing uses a variety of techniques and tools to grab the attention of your customer and educate them about the existence of your business and/or your product or service. Advertising is just one technique that can be used to do this. What techniques are the right ones for you will be discussed in the next activity.
2. Marketing works best when you are targeting the right customer
- Knowing who your ideal customer is, helps enormously in focusing your marketing efforts and allows you the best likelihood of that customer saying “yes”. The work you’ve done in previous activities to help you identify your market now feeds into the decisions you make in this section of the business plan.
3. Marketing is an on-going strategy – not a one-off activity
- To market your business effectively, it must be a regular task. Whatever the technique or tool, using them regularly and consistently is most likely to get you the best result and best return on your marketing dollars. That’s not to say we may not have a specific one-off campaign at times – say to target a particular geographical area – but usually, even those one-off campaigns can be repeatable.
4. Your marketing plan will most likely change over time
- Like many aspects of business, we may not hit-the-nail-on-the-head the first time we try. At the launch of your business, we use the best information we have at the time to create a marketing strategy and plan. As we firm up more on how our business operates, we can gradually adapt our plan to increase our chances of success.
5. Marketing should have a budget
- Although there are plenty of “free” approaches to marketing (we’ll talk a little about those in the next activity), marketing generally costs money. Tracking how many leads or sales you acquire with each marketing strategy is important. Over time, you’ll then see what technique is most cost effective and impactful.