Marketing Plans

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Statistics show that upwards of 50% of small businesses operate without a marketing plan.  Particularly when there are no outside investors or boards to report to, small and medium sized businesses decide to just "go with the flow".  Marketing seems to be the piece on their budget that they think can easily be cut when times are tough, and they figure they will just  take advantage of opportunities when they can.


Marketing is really much more than a budget line item.  We know that marketing can be a burden for smaller businesses, since the owners and management are focused on operations and production.  But to establish a marketing plan allows businesses of all sizes that opportunity to scale and grow, to test new things, and to really invest in the types of marketing that will help them grow.  Marketing plans are the key to success for businesses of all sizes, in all industries, regardless of whether they are start ups, growing, or established.

Things to Consider when developing a Marketing Plan

  • What are you trying to do for this period of time?  Do you want to reach new customers?  Or provide a new product to your existing customers? Do you have specific goals in mind for how many customers or how much income you want to bring in?  What time frame are you looking at to achieve those goals?
  • What is the relative profit for the products and/or services you provide?  Every business has its a variety of offerings and each of those range in terms of profitably? What are your most profitable? How do you get those customers? Do you attract new customers with special offers and concert them down the road? 
  • Who is your competition and how are they marketing? What do you need to do to compete for the business in your market? 
  • How do consumers respond to your marketing pitches in your marketplace?  Do they make decisions based on price, convenience, service or quality? Do you have an essential service or a commodity? Is loyalty or referrals important to your business?
  • Who (and where!) are your best customers?  Are they online shoppers, young, old, with children, without?
  • What is your budget? I always tell clients that I can spend any budget! It's totally true!  Marketing is scalable...up and down.  Many marketing service providers focus on upselling, and their marketing plan for your business is based on profit for them.  Our marketing plans are based on what is right for you.  We often recommend radio, tv and other media that we refer clients out for if that is the right way to reach the target audience.  Having a budget in mind, that can support your goals, is critical for a realistic marketing plan.