What Goes Into a Marketing Plan

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Talented, tiny business owners often ask if they need a business plan. I always tell them, unless you need to get funding, you do not need to go through that process of making a business plan, but you do need a marketing plan. This is usually followed by a look of confusion. So today, I’m going to run through very quickly, what goes into a marketing plan. I like to think of a marketing plan in eight parts. So what are the eight parts of a marketing plan?

The first is understanding what your vision, your mission, your why, and who your customer is. Admittedly, that’s kind of two things, but otherwise, we’d have like 20 steps so we’re combining a little bit here. Basically, you need to understand what you’re doing, the problem you’re solving, the reason behind why, and who you are solving that problem for. That’s the first step.

The second is to really understand who you are and who the person is you’re speaking to. This also includes what problem you are solving and why it’s important that you be the one solving it, not somebody else. We call this your unique selling proposition (USP). You can also include your SWOT analysis in this. Covering the things that you’re up against and bringing in your skills. But you’re really thinking about what it is that you do? What you are bringing to the table that’s making you different.

The third is to understand who your competition is. This is really helpful not only in pointing out why you’re going to provide certain value over, well, you don’t want to say over somebody else, but what your value is, number one. And number two, you need to understand this so you can niche down a little bit and understand exactly where you are. That’s the positioning in the market and you need to understand where you are.

The fourth, well, we’re combining a lot in this fourth step, but they all go together. It is understanding what the products you’re offering are. Maybe adding some new products in, maybe reviewing how you’re talking about these products. Strategically setting the pricing on all of these products to make sure that you’re having something at the entry-level, all the way up to the higher end of your offerings. The place you will be putting your things out there because in marketing, there are hundreds of things and places that you can be and do. You want to think of social media as one place that you can have your marketing. Your website, another place. You do not need to have more than seven marketing outlets.

Seven is a great number to think about in your marketing plan for where you want to focus your efforts. The goal is not meant to make you completely overwhelmed and exhausted. It is for you to understand that there is more than just social media. Social media may not even work for you. It might be that you want to be a little scrappier and that you are using a lot of out of the box, guerrilla marketing ideas to get things done. It may be that you have a higher budget and you want to do a lot of maybe direct mail packages that arrive at businesses doorsteps. It depends on all of the things we have talked about so far. And lastly of number four, you want to make sure that you understand what your promotional strategy will be. So it’s not just saying I want to be on Facebook, but talking about how you will be on Facebook, how you’re going to show up how many posts you’re going to do a week, what you’re going to be sharing and the details in that.

The fifth thing of course is that as we’re talking about all these things that we want to do, you have to have goals. You have to have measurements. We have to understand what your idea of success is with your strategy and with your sales. What do you want to accomplish? How much do you want to sell? What do you want to get as far as engagement goes? These are great ways to start with your goals, measurements and success metrics. Six. My goodness. If you haven’t been writing down all these things that you’ve been thinking about, what good is that going to do? The power of writing down will help it get out there. And when you write it down, it will be easier to do.

The seventh is to implement. Because if you don’t know what you’re doing, how are you supposed to take action? Having that plan written down makes it, so each week, each day you look at your plan and you take action. It takes a lot of the “I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m overwhelmed. I need to procrastinate” right out of the process. Maybe you’re writing it down on paper or putting it into something like Todoist. Maybe you have a calendar that you keep it all on. However it works best for you, but you have to make sure you are doing number seven and that is implementing, taking action. Maybe the most important thing on this entire list, because if you don’t take action, how are you going to reach your goals and achieve any of the successes that you want?

The eighth is to review your actions. Once you take action, you have to say, well, did that work? Or if I tried it, should I try a different way to make it work? If I just make it a little different, perhaps I’ll have better results. That is why the review is essential.

Those are the eight steps to creating a marketing plan. The eight very busy steps of a marketing plan. It is essential as a talented, tiny business owner, to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. I highly recommend you create a quarterly marketing plan. If you create one for the year, sometimes it can get a little too long. We tend to either put off doing some of the things or being tiny, we just changed too much over the course of a year. 12 weeks gives you a great chance to review and adjust in a timely manner. To make sure you’re constantly taking action. Remove the things that are not working. Add things that you think may work better.

If you need help, I can help you with this. If you would like to work one-on-one with me, I recommend a tiny tune-up to get your marketing plan created and get you implementing it. And of course I’m here every week with a Tuesday business tip to give you more tips. You can do this yourself. You can do research on the internet and put a marketing plan into place. It is not something that is above what you are capable of doing. So get out there and do it if, you need help, I’m here. But if not, I do believe in you. And I believe that you can go do it, go get a book from the library. It’s not rocket science.

You can do it anyway that you want to. There’s no right or wrong way to do a marketing plan. The important thing is to keep in mind who you’re talking to, what you’re talking about, who you are, who else is doing things, where you fit into it, how you are serving your pricing, where you are your strategy, make sure that you are having a strategy that you’re writing that down. Then taking action and reviewing what you’ve done. I’m Sierra Bailey with Doers Shakers Makers. I know you can do this, so good luck. I’ll see you next week.

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