A marketing plan is crucial to the growth and sustainability to your business. If you don’t carefully work out how you’ll sell your goods, you’ll find yourself eating a lot of the costs. Here are some places to start.
Perform an Audit
Search for your business on popular review sites, or search for [business name] and reviews or “[location], [industry] reviews.” This will give you an idea of how many review sites your business is on as well as your average star rating. You’ll also be able to tell which review sites you need more reviews on as well as which sites you have a stellar reputation and plenty of reviews on.
Previous Plan’s Results
You need to look at sales, market share, and possibly also profits, customer satisfaction, web visibility, or other measures of customer attitude and perception. You may also want to include measures of customer retention, size and frequency of purchase, or other indicators of customer behavior, because they’re often helpful in thinking about where to focus your marketing efforts in the future. Your plan should also itemize the key attributes that customers desire and how your benefits match up with those attributes.
Gauge Your Company’s Situation
This first section defines your company and its products or services then shows how the benefits you provide set you apart from your competition. It’s called a “situation analysis.” Target audiences have become extremely specialized and segmented. No matter your industry, from restaurants to professional services to retail clothing stores, positioning your product or service competitively requires an understanding of your niche market. Not only do you need to be able to describe what you market, but you must also have a clear understanding of what your competitors are offering and be able to show how your product or service provides a better value.
Define Your Target Audience
If you’re a business-to-business marketer, you may define your target audience based on their type of business, job title, size of business, geographic location or any other characteristics that make them possible prospects. No matter who your target audience is, be sure to narrowly define them in this section because it will be your guide as you plan your media and public relations campaigns.
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