Make time to draft your marketing plan. We live in a busy world and finding enough time for everything, if you are running your getbusinesstoday , becomes a real challenge. If it is a small or home based business, where you don’t have much back up in the way of competent staff, then running and marketing your business becomes a blur of confusion.
When the days become busy is when you really need a well researched plan to follow. This relieves any unnecessary ‘spur of the moment’ trial and errors that you will regret later.
There is a return on your investment for making time to draft a marketing plan. Here are five reasons that will get you started.
1. Compels you to think about your business.
The biggest advantage is that it forces you to sit down and think about your business. What is your current situation in regards to customers, marketing activities, and ROI? Who is your competition and is there anything going on in the environment that can change how you do business? What are your goals for the next week, month, and year? Without a plan you will not know how to get from now to then. Begin to understand what resources your small business will need to meet those goals etc.
2. Creates Organization.
The second advantage is that a small business marketing plan organizes all your marketing activities you plan on using. This will eliminate those costly and ineffective last minute decisions. You know what you are going to do to market your business over a set time frame.
3. Decide how and where to spend your marketing dollars.
By developing a marketing plan you will have to decide on how and where you are going to undertake marketing activities. Think about money, time, and any other resources you will need to carry out your marketing objectives before you take action. This ensures that you do not over spend your budget.
4. Plan when and where to begin your marketing tactics.
A marketing plan will outline details about when you initiate your marketing objectives and tactics. Most businesses have cycles when there are busy cycles and slow down periods. While drafting your plan you will decide if you want to increase your marketing activities to generate sales in quiet periods? You will also have thought about if you would be able to handle the increased demand if you marketed aggressively during busy periods?
5. You’ll know what you want to achieve.
The marketing research you did for your small business marketing plan will ensure that you know the return on investment you expect your marketing activities to achieve. To analyze the actual campaigns you will put mechanisms in place to measure the results against expectations.
The return on investment you will receive by drafting a marketing plan is peace of mind about, and organization of, marketing activities. You will have information that helps you make better decisions, you will know your competition, business environment, your customers and potential customers, and you will increase your bottom line. Take the time to draft your small business plan to save you time to run your business and ensure that your business prospers.
Toni Grundstrom is a freelance writer with emphasis in the Marketing field. She has worked for a professional legal association, government entity, and small businesses. With 17 years of experience I provide valuable content in all aspects of Marketing. for additional information about drafting your Small Business Marketing Plan.
There is something very special that happens when one business markets to gain the trust and sales of another. The thought of most businesses catching the ignorant consumer’s attention by simple tricks, innuendos, and media hype is a good one… but simply doesn’t apply in the world of business to business marketing. The world of b2b marketing is so much more complex than most realize. Many of the standard marketing rules don’t apply when it comes to marketing to the average American (and even non-American) business. Even more so, there is a nice sized opportunity to grab this market, because not many have!
As most business owners begin their journey, they head straight towards consumer sales and marketing. Business to consumer (or b2c) marketing is hundreds of years old, and most of the same tactics work as they did back when our great-great grandparents rode around on horses while eating 1-cent candy. Luckily for us, many of these marketing strategies have been refined since the massive rise of internet business, and since then, the competition is bigger, but the rewards seem to grow as well. This also can be said for business to business marketing.
Business to business marketing has been a good friend of mine for a while. While I must say that it is probably the trickiest type of marketing to master, it is definitely the most rewarding. One of my first businesses operated in a manner in which it only sold to businesses, and very rarely to individuals. I quickly learned that although the competition wasn’t as plentiful as a pure B2C marketing environment… these b2b marketers really knew what they were doing, and they were NOT afraid to knock down crying children (aka, small b2b-aimed businesses) in the process. I will happily admit that I got trampled on more than once by these superior B2B powerhouses. Needless to say, I have learned enough lessons to fill an entire book on the subject.
Business to business marketing is almost like losing weight. It takes a while to learn what works and what doesn’t. Like all business matters, b2b marketing can best be described as a “trial and error” type of process. Methods that work for your b2b marketing efforts may not work for your competitors. It’s all in how you brand yourself. Setting yourself apart is key here. Don’t get the wrong idea… I’m not telling you to go out and re-design your logo to include tacky, neon colors… No … No… No. There’s a way to set yourself apart, while being completely slick about it.
Getting your point across in a creative, yet efficient matter has been the core of all of my own b2b marketing campaigns. Get creative, elicit a laugh, a chuckle, or even a lasting question in the client’s mind. Don’t let them see your advertisement or marketing materials and NOT remember it! While doing this can prove to be risky at times, I promise, if you really delve into the art of “trial and error” you’ll get it right if you pay attention to the numbers. To decipher a winning campaign, pay attention to every detail… your website stats, and where your traffic is coming from. Don’t forget to ask all phone callers where they saw your ad, and why they decided to call. The feedback you get from this process will prove to be priceless in all of your own business marketing efforts!