Your business plan is foundational to the inner workings of your business. Your marketing plan, on the other hand, is fundamental to the outer workings of your business including how it is perceived by the general public. Your marketing plan is the key to your success. No matter how great your products or services are, you won’t make it if you don’t get the word out.
Determine Your Goals
Your marketing plan should be structured around your goals. In fact, your business goals should inform every decision you make as a company. Remember to create SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Once you have committed to your goals, you can begin to create your marketing plan. Your marketing plan should look like a list of goals. For example, you might want to increase your brand awareness, boost traffic to your website, and generate a specific number of new leads.
If your marketing goals are the bones of your marketing plan, then marketing research is the brain. Only through your marketing research can you abandon the futile, time-wasting efforts based solely on conjecture and guesswork and move on to the real work centered around actual data. According to Franchise Gator, research will help you figure out who your customers are. The only way to keep your customers happy is to thoroughly understand them inside and out. Marketing research can also guide you to troubleshoot potential problems before they arise. It can also provide increased focus and allows you to fine-tune your goals. And, marketing research enables you to understand your competition so that you can stay ahead.
Pin Down the Details
Once you know your goals and have collected sufficient data it is time to pin down the details. You can think of these as the hows to your whats! Goals and data can only get you so far. The real work is in the details. How will you increase your brand awareness? In what ways will you boost traffic to your website? What methods will you use to generate new leads? The answers to these questions will give you the body of your marketing plan.
Your marketing plan is vital to your success. Don’t get too far into your new business without sitting down and hacking out a marketing strategy. You know you have amazing ideas; now go and get the word out!
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