Marketing Plans 101

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Most small business owners will tell you that their marketing is working. The proof, they are still in business. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that I would be writing this article from a sandy beach somewhere with a piña colada in my hand. The truth of the matter is that just because you are still in business doesn’t mean your marketing is working as well as it could be.

Most small businesses run on the premise that they do what they did last year for marketing because that’s what they did last year and it must have worked right? Wrong! Nine out of every ten businesses we come in contact with are having trouble with their marketing for the simple reason that they don’t have a marketing plan.

As a business owner, you have to think of your marketing like any other large investment. You wouldn’t buy a house without planning out your mortgage payments, closing costs, inspection fees, moving fees and so on. Marketing is an expense of doing business and should be planned out in a similar way. Depending on the type of business you are in, most business owners will plan out their marketing on a yearly basis plotting things like sales, events, peak season, etc.

With a proper marketing plan, you can also seek out media sales opportunities and take advantage of them, spend more time in advance planning your promotions rather than throwing them together at the last minute.

Some Marketing Tips for Small Business:

  • Plan ahead with a complementary small business for a Joint Promotion that you can both split the cost on and benefit from.
  • Get your website up to speed and have your online banner ads and promotions ready to go and launch them in a time line fashion to keep traffic coming to your site (where they can see other products and features)
  • Look at your previous advertising and it likely makes sense to trim the size or length of your ad and run it more frequently than to run larger ads less. It also gives you the opportunity to change up the ad content.
  • Take a close look at your target audience, what are they interested in? Are they techy? Is your online marketing up to speed with your audience? Your audience may not be reading the paper or listening to that radio station so why are you still advertising with traditional media? Ask yourself if you are doing it just because that’s what you have always done.

There is no one magic answer to Marketing for every business, but most small business owners are spending their hard earned money on marketing that they are not even sure is working. Yet they do it because they know they need to market their business.

Just as you look at your financials every year to see how you did the year before and where you need to improve, trim or add, your Marketing should be treated the same way.

A Marketing Plan, like a business plan, can save you thousands on marketing and advertising. Just ask yourself, “What is my return on this marketing or advertising?”. If you can’t answer that then you need a marketing plan, otherwise you are just spending money.

Not to make this informative article an ad, but Marketing Plans and ROI are what we are all about. We have created Marketing Plans for clients and saved them thousands of dollars in Marketing costs and increased their ROI. Its not necessarily about spending more but spending wisely and strategically, the customers of today are not the same as the customers of yesterday and cannot be marketed to in the same way.

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