In this edited excerpt, the authors explain the simple steps involved with creating a marketing plan for your new business.Everyone knows you need a business plan, yet many entrepreneurs don’t realize a marketing plan is just as vital.
Most of these businesses were created by entrepreneurs who envisioned an opportunity to develop a new product or service, and pursued that vision in search of independence and financial reward.
While these visionaries started with solid ideas to form the foundation of their new ventures, most do not have many of the skills necessary to transform their ideas into reality.
Avoid broad-based media -- even if it attracts your target audience -- if the content isn't relevant.
The marketing tactics you choose must reach your prospects when they’ll be most receptive to your message.
Warm prospects -- those who've previously been exposed to your marketing message and perhaps even met you personally -- will respond best to permission-based email, loyalty programs and customer appreciation events, among others.
Your hottest prospects are individuals who’ve been exposed to your sales and marketing messages and are ready to close a sale.It’s your plan of action -- what you’ll sell, who'll want to buy it and the tactics you’ll use to generate leads that result in sales.And unless you’re using your marketing plan to help you gain funding, it doesn’t have to be lengthy or beautifully written. Here’s a closer look at creating a marketing plan that works.The key is to never stop marketing -- don’t concern yourself with the more costly tactics until you can afford them.Click here to view this full business plan Last year the doors to 898,000 new businesses opened in the United States for the first time.Just bear this in mind -- marketing is absolutely essential to the success of your business.And with so many different kinds of tactics available for reaching out to every conceivable audience niche, there’s a mix to fit even the tightest budget.Unlike a business plan, a marketing plan focuses on winning and keeping customers; it's strategic and includes numbers, facts and objectives.A good marketing plan spells out all the tools and tactics you’ll use to achieve your sales goals.Don’t forget to include any external threats to your company’s ability to gain market share so that succeeding sections of your plan can detail the ways you’ll overcome those threats. First, you need to analyze your product’s features and decide how they distinguish your product from its competitors. Ask yourself the following: Are my customers conservative or innovative? If you need help with creating your goals, here is a primer to get you thinking: This section is the heart and soul of your marketing plan.Second, decide what type of buyer is most likely to purchase your product. In the previous sections, you outlined what your marketing must accomplish and identified your best prospects; now it’s time to detail the tactics you’ll use to reach these prospects and accomplish your goals.