Marketing Plans work when they are based on unique, meaningful marketing strategies that focus on the current needs and desires of a target customer.
Ten Steps to Marketing Success
1. Finding your niche
—-Market Segmentation/Unserved or Underserved customers
—-Size, Usage, Benefits, Lifestyles, Occupation, Distribution Channels, Geography, Income, Social Class, Personality, Age, Family size, etc. (Examples-Demographics, Market Surveys, etc.).
2. Becoming better than your competition
—-Customers have choices. In order to become better than your competition, you must know the competition. You can respond to a competitive advantage by creating another equally important advantage for your company.
—-Visit competition, telephone competition, use telemarketing, get feedback from your salespersons. —Review RMA, D&B Financial info and other relevant information sources.
3. Develop a strategy
—-Focus on creating a marketing strategy and tactics.
—-Set marketing objectives and goals.
—-Create a strategy to meet these goals.
(write a rough marketing plan)
4. Find enough customers
—-Advertising, Direct Mail, Mailing lists, trade shows, networking, dealer networks, personal sales calls, etc.
5. Find the right location
—-Highly visible location, with sufficient traffic count, if relevant. For retail, who are the other tenants in the center or mall? How close is your closest competitor? What are the demographics of this location?
6. Motivating customers to take action
—-Implementation of marketing strategies—utilize marketing mix determined in planning stage of marketing plan. Set targets and goals for sales reps if relevant.
7. Communication Measurement
—-Measure effectiveness of marketing mix. Set up tracking mechanism for all sources of revenues. Review regularly and make necessary changes. Change product mix and/or pricing as required.
8. Making the sale
—-Nothing matters unless sales are made. Set targets and goals for sales reps, review sales figures each week and review source of sales. Adjust as necessary—quickly! Update products and merchandise regularly. Don’t fall in love with any product—let your customers dictate. —-Compare actual sales vs. projections regularly.
9. Managing the sales force
—-Refine sales rep hiring practices.
—-Develop solid sales force training, conduct regular sales meetings, and review sales performances monthly. After first year of experience, let sales reps participate in goal setting and sales targets.
10. Marketing Plan
—-Use all the above elements to assist in writing a creative, detailed marketing plan. ** Marketers need to re-evaluate their strategy every year to respond to changes in customers and markets.