The other day I was chatting with a friend who has worked in advertising and marketing for more than 20 years. I asked him how he approached clients who came to him for a marketing plan. He shared several ideas, which I’ll share with you, but something he said rang true. “We work with a lot of businesses, large and small, that are experts in their field but lost when it comes to marketing. We try to give them some direction, where to begin when creating a marketing plan. ”

What’s Your Goal?

The first ingredient of any marketing plan is to have a goal in mind. Too often, businesses throw marketing at the wall to see what sticks, in other words, they’re uncertain as to what they want to accomplish, so they haphazardly attempt multiple marketing efforts. To understand how to achieve anything one must first know what they want.

  • Introduce new product or service

Is your primary goal to let people know about a new offer? What problems does your product solve, what makes it unique, and how can this best be shared?

  • Cross-sell to existing clients

Are you trying to reach existing loyal customers with add-on and supplemental products? Do you have multiple divisions that could benefit by marketing to each other’s clients?

  • Increased market

Do you want a larger market share for existing products and services? Who is your competition, and what market segments have they forgotten? What is your unique sales position and competitive edge?

  • Target audience

Who will use the product? Is it a sales tool, B2B (Business-to-Business) service, or consumer product? The target will inform the approach. For example, a product geared to IT personnel may use industry no-nonsense copy while a product marketed to consumers may take an opposite approach.

What Media Should You Use?

Should you advertise on local radio, buy cable TV time, wrap your fleet vehicles, or all the above? The answer is — it depends.

  • Budget

What can you afford to spend and for how long? Where can you get the biggest bang for your buck? For example, a business-to-consumer product such as apparel may be best marketed on a website and social media while a sales tool may be best introduced in a brochure. What is the CPM (cost per one thousand impressions), and who will see the marketing?

  • Market segment

What are the targeted audience’s preferences? Do they watch the nightly local news, drive by billboards on their morning commute, or pick up promotional products at trade shows?

  • Brand unification

How will any new marketing initiative fit the brand? Will the logo, colors, and taglines work together to present a unified brand?

  • Reach

Where is your market positioned geographically and demographically? Knowing where your prospects are will help you determine the best way to reach them. For example, if your service covers a twenty-mile radius would investing in a TV ad that covers an area four times that be the best use of your advertising dollars? Maybe, maybe not.

You Don’t Have to be a Marketer

Not every good businessperson is a good marketer. Not every successful entrepreneur is a great advertiser. If we can assist you with any of your graphics and signage needs, let us know. Contact Us.

Photo Credit: Unsplash Photos Photo by Campaign Creators