What is the best combination of marketing and sales for your business? Having a precisely-focused, easy-to-understand message boosts the power of your marketing dollars.
Potential customers won’t be familiar with (or excited about) your products or services if you don’t focus on your marketing efforts. Since you’ve already touched on the basics of your strategy in your original business plan, it’s time to take a more concentrated approach to
Creating a Marketing Plan
Set yourself up for success with a thoughtfully organized marketing plan. Create your plan of action using a combination of the standard elements below — just make sure they’re tailored to your business needs.
- Target Market
Create a detailed account of your target customer base, including the market’s size, demographics, and demand trends.
- Competitive Advantage
Give a rundown of the ways your product or service outweighs the competition, and consider adding value for customers through special call-outs on your packaging (e.g. a USDA organic certification or a distinction that your product is made by hand.)
- Sales Plan
Explain how you'll actually be putting your offering up for sale, whether that's via retail, wholesale, or an e-commerce platform.
- Marketing & Sales Goals
Recount how you plan to increase sales, grow your market share, or gain new customers in the next year.
- Marketing Action Plan
List the marketing channels you plan to use, clarify your strategy for pricing and promotions, and describe the customer experience that follows the sale. And ensure your promotion methods are compliant with federal advertising regulations (hyperlink to “Managing Your Finances” page).
Summarize the costs associated with your marketing plan as precisely as possible. Even after you commence with your plan, you’ll want to continue monitoring those expenses.
Evaluating & Improving Your Plan
Confirm you’re getting a positive return on investment (ROI) by measuring your marketing and sales expenses against the revenue they generate. It can be difficult to measure the success of various marketing strategies — especially for methods like word-of-mouth advertising — but you can use analytics to make informed calls about your effectiveness. Consider evaluating metrics like pipeline growth, brand awareness, and conversion rates.
And don’t forget the all-important task of keeping your marketing plan up to date. You should revisit your strategy once per year at the least.
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