Funny thing about the world outside of school.… other than marketers and gurus no one really speaks this type of business lingo.
I’ve learned that business owners want simple to understand concepts and steps that they can execute quickly to see improvements in their businesses.
FREE DOWNLOAD BELOW – keep reading….
My goal at Summer Alexander Research is to give the people what they want. So this week let’s dig into the infamous Marketing Plan – summed up here in 12 simple steps.
Step 1: Define Your Market
No! You can’t market your product/services to the whole world (although you and I both know the whole world needs what you are selling…). Start by identifying the people who have the problem that your company solves.
Are they men? Women? How old are they? Where do they live? How much do they earn? How much of their earnings are they likely to spend on your products/services? Do they like to shop online? From catalogs?
Take the time to learn your market inside and out so that you are able to tailor your marketing message specifically to your target audience.
Step 2: Identify the Problem
What BIG need does your target customer have that your company will solve?
More time, more money, better relationships, an easier process, how to navigate social media, a yummy dessert, the perfect shoe- the list of needs a person might have is endless. Focus on the needs your company was created to solve.
Step 3: Define your Offerings
What products or services do you offer that are the solution to their problem?
Step 4: USP – Your Unique Selling Proposition
What makes your product or service the BEST solution to their problem?
Think customer benefits instead of product features. How will your product make the customer feel after they purchase from you?
For more help with this step please read: 2 Easy Steps to Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition
Step 5: Identify the Competition
Who else is offering your target a similar solution?
Please don’t spend a lot of time comparing yourself to the competition. Finding out who they are, what they do well and what they lack helps you to differentiate yourself from them when crafting your marketing message.
For help with this step read: The Top 3 Reasons You Must Research Your Competition
Step 6: Know your Strengths
List some reasons why they should purchase from you instead of your competitors:
Some reasons may be better pricing, greater value, higher quality, top-notch customer service or an iron-clad guarantee.
Step 7: Pricing
How much do you charge? Why do you charge this amount? Is your pricing higher, lower or similar to other companies in the same business as you?
For help with this step please read: How to Price Your Products and Services
Step 8: Location, Location, Location
Describe how your customers will find you.
Advertising (where), word of mouth, social media, strategic partnerships (partnering with other businesses that serve your target market but are not your direct competitors), tradeshows, networking events, website traffic etc.
Step 9: Where will you advertise?
Consider your budget and map out a plan for getting the word out about your products/services. Remember it’s not cost effective to start out advertising to the masses, select the media that your target market is most likely to view and advertise there.
Step 10: Show me the Money
Describe the steps a customer must take to purchase from you.
Do they have to request a proposal? Is there a trial membership? Will they add items to a shopping cart on your website?
Step 11: Service
What is your customer service policy? Return and refund policy? Do you have a service guarantee?
There are companies who allow returns for up to 365 days with no questions asked and there are companies with no refunds no matter what the problem. Where does your company fall on this spectrum?
Step 12: Follow-up
Describe what happens after you make the sale.
Do you issue a client satisfaction survey? Is there a cross-promotion process in place where you offer suggestions on other products that are complimentary to the one purchased? How about asking for referrals?
It is important to keep in mind that it’s usually easier to retain a current customer than it is to obtain a new one.
This week’s free download is the Simple 12 Step Marketing Plan. No opt-in required simply click here: Simple 12 Step Marketing Plan The plan is in PDF format and you can fill in the answers right on your computer screen or print it out, whichever you prefer.
If you missed the previous free download click here: Simple Strategic Plan 2012
Important: Your feedback is vital! Please let me know below if you find the tips and templates useful.