Developing a small business marketing plan sounds easy right up until the business owner sits down to complete the plan.
Some opt to make use of a marketing plan template, yet this method only works if a comprehensive template is selected.
Business owners often struggle to determine where their funds should go.
This doesn't have to be the case. With the help of this marketing checklist for small business owners, anyone can create a custom marketing plan that helps their business grow and thrive.
Understand The Target Audience
Determine who is most likely to want and need the products and services offered.
Once this has been identified, figure out what makes the product or service unique and build a message around it.
Doing so ensures the customer's motivation is known and the correct audience is being addressed.
The key is to position the item to be sold correctly.
With a simple change in marketing strategy, attracting the desired attention becomes easier.
There may be times when different messages or offers need to be directed to separate parts of the target audience. Don't hesitate to make use of this technique when necessary.
Create The Appropriate Message
Once the target audience has been pinpointed, determine what they are looking for when they make a purchase.
For example, teenagers tend to focus on style while adults often consider the value of the product or service first.
The message is the foundation of all marketing efforts, thus companies need to spend additional time crafting a message to reach their audience.
As mentioned earlier, a business may need to create one message for the teenagers, one that focuses on style, and another for parents, a message promoting the value of the product or service.
Consider distinct marketing strategies for different elements of the audience and watch sales grow.
Communication Remains Critical
Gather customer information whenever possible.
Do so through the use of various methods, including name, physical address, phone number, and e-mail address.
Remain in constant communication with them. Send out a free fact sheet showing how the company differs from others in the market, or mail postcards with a promotional offer only available to current customers.
Always acknowledge special events in their life, whether it be a birthday, anniversary or other special event.
The more information a business has about their clients, the easier marketing becomes. Messages must be repeated if they are to be remembered, thus constant communication is essential.
Website And Social Media Updates
Regular website updates attract the attention of the search engines.
A business owner can no longer afford to create a website and walk away.
Relevant content needs to be added frequently for the search engines, and social media sites need to be used as the search engines now look at these sites when ranking a website.
Consumers typically click on the first three search engine listings, rarely going lower when they wish to obtain information.
Keep this in mind to ensure consumers can find the website when they want and need what the business has to offer.
As more people become connected to the Internet, businesses must ensure they can be found when a consumer is looking for something they offer.
There are numerous ways to get the business name in the eye of the public.
Online directories are one way to do so, and companies don't even need a website to be listed here.
In addition, companies need to make certain their listing is identical on these and other sites, such as Google Maps and Yelp.
The slightest difference between listings will have the search engines considering them as two separate companies.
For example, if one listing shows the zip code plus four, they all need to do the same.
Otherwise, the search engines won't rank the site as high.
Assess The Competition
Look to competitors to see what they are doing.
Are they offering new products and services?
Do they seem to attract more attention when they run certain promotions?
Business owners need to know what the current competition is doing at all times and know when a new competitor appears on the scene.
Moreover, look to the big retailers, ones who only sell online, to see if certain portions of the market are being overlooked.
Although a small business may not be able to create their own e-reader like Amazon, they can offer similar products with a widespread reach, such as tablets.
Evaluate the competition regularly to ensure they aren't gaining a larger market share due to their expanded product and service offerings.
Use this marketing plan checklist every time the plan is to be adjusted.
With its help, business owners find they highlight the most important parts of the plan.
Marketing is an ongoing task, one no business owner can afford to overlook.
Check your marketing plan today and seek outside help if you find you are struggling.
Falling behind in this area is not acceptable, as it gives your competitors an edge.
Make marketing a priority today and use this checklist to see where changes need to be made in your current plan.