As a small business owner, I think you won’t have time to put together a detailed marketing plan. Some entrepreneurs may not have any plans at all. However, I personally believe that a marketing plan is essential to the success of your business. You don’t need a plan of 10 pages or more, though. I always make a plan of no more than 3 pages to highlight the most important points. At the level of marketing strategy, Tim Berry suggested a “frame of mind” for developing a marketing plan. These steps are basic steps and not difficult. His advice should start as a guide. He encourages you to think about the goals you want to achieve, pros and cons, unique products, target markets and how you want people to see your brand.
For the sake of simplicity, I also recommend that you include the promotion plan in your marketing plan. This way you have everything you need somewhere in the year. Jeff Williams briefly listed the promotions you need in his article “How to Build a Strong Promotion Plan for Over 50 Companies”.
Let’s put them all in simple development steps, right? In your marketing plan, you may need to be divided into two main parts: the overall marketing plan and the promotion plan.
Part 1: Marketing plan. The plan should include at least the following items.
Marketing goals: what will you achieve this year? It could be … $ monetization or gaining 10% market share.
Unique sales proposal: what makes your product different from your competitors? Lower cost? A better distribution channel? price? Product?
Target Market: Be clear about your target market. You don’t have many resources to invest in the mass market.
Communication Channels: Your target market needs to determine how you want to communicate with them. Knowing who your customers are will save you a lot of money.
Budget: Many companies determine their marketing budget as a percentage of their total annual revenue. In addition, you may want to set a “ceiling” so that your marketing spend does not exceed $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
Part 2: Promotion plan. To create a promotional plan, you need to understand your business cycle or season. In short, you need to know when to spend money to increase sales and when to save money. For example, if you own a restaurant, you may have to spend marketing expenses when marketing activities are slow, such as in February or May. What you need in your plan can be as simple as a spreadsheet with the following fields:
Promotion: For example, buy 1 and get 1 for free
Difference: why are your customers enthusiastic?
Communication channels: this is very important. You may get the best promotion opportunity in the world, but if your communication channels aren’t effective, it won’t help you.
Result: eg Sales volume
Return on Investment (ROI): [(sales cost of promotion volume) / promotion cost]. If your return on investment is below the bank’s savings rate, then you should reconsider your promotion as it is easier to get the same return by depositing the money in the bank!
Believe me, if you can list all the promotions you need during the year, you will feel great! It can build confidence, make you think, and help you identify potential opportunities ahead of time. Ultimately, it can help you stay ahead. Please also understand that this is an ongoing process. You need to open your plan and update it from time to time. Most importantly, you should track the results for two reasons: 1) If the upgrade fails, learn from it, and 2) If the upgrade is successful, copy it.