The Elements of an Effective Marketing Plan

Writing a Marketing Plan

Whether your business is a start-up or existing, marketing plans are a crucial component to sustained financial success. Careful planning will ensure successful implementation, leading to intended financial results for your organization. This planning begins with the development of a marketing plan.

Before you begin, it is important to establish a completion date for the initial draft, to identify important parties that will contribute ideas for the plan as well as the responsibilities of individuals to implement the plan and the annual marketing budget. Once you have set the stage for writing and completing your plan, you can begin its creation.

Follow these 7 steps when writing a marketing plan:

1. Setting the Objectives- What are your organization’s marketing objectives? What is required to achieve your annual revenue goals? How many customers do you need to acquire? How much revenue should be generated from existing customers? For existing businesses, a beneficial exercise to complete is a S.W.O.T. analysis. Identify your organization’s current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This analysis will enable you to develop key insights into the drivers of your business and what changes need to occur to reach your annual targets.

2. Research-Conducting market research and market analysis can allow your business to understand where your customers are currently coming from. This information can allow you to set focus areas for new client acquisition as well as up-selling opportunities for your current customer base.

3. Define Strategies-How will your business compete against your competition? What are your target markets? What price offerings will give your business the greatest competitive edge?

4. Develop a promotion plan- Outline which marketing communication tactics are needed to achieve your strategies such as advertising, PR, search engine marketing, events, etc. Choose a few tactics under each strategy to implement.

5. Build Measurements for Each Tactic-Outline how you plan to measure the results achieved for each tactic. How will you track and measure ongoing results? What metrics are crucial for your results to be obtained? I.e. # clients acquired, total sales volume, product mix.

6. Develop a Strategic Plan- Outline step by step the concepts and ideas that are needed to achieve results. Set weekly, monthly and quarterly goals, identifying the individuals responsible for each task, as well as which metrics will be achieved and tracked.

7. Implement, Track and Modify the Plan- Now is the most important piece of the marketing plan- implementation. As you implement your marketing plan, be sure to track all results. If you have a team working on the marketing plan, be sure to update them to results experienced by the entire team. As things require attention or modification, be sure to change the plan accordingly.

By following the steps outlined above, you will have created a well thought through marketing plan and have the tracking mechanisms needed to analyze / modify the plan as needs / results change over time.

Is Your Marketing Plan Ready for an Update?

With summer vacations over and schools back in session, marketing plan “season” is fast approaching. This is a time when you reflect on the effectiveness of your business marketing programs. You will be planning to improve performance of some marketing programs, discontinue some, and try others for the first time.

Each Marketing Plan is Unique

For those writing a marketing plan for the first time, it is important to know that there is no “magic formula” to an effective marketing plan. Formats and procedures vary widely, and your marketing plan will be one-of-a-kind.

Your company, customers, competitors, and suppliers interact to create a unique and ever-changing business environment. Because of this, your marketing plan should also be unique and frequently changing. What worked wonderfully for one company may be a dismal failure for you. What worked yesterday for you may not be the thing for you to do today. By thinking of your plan as a unique and perpetual work in progress, you can be better prepared to change direction when the business environment changes.

A Plan Makes a Profitable Difference

Ultimately, your marketing plan is a compass by which you navigate your day-to-day business. As opportunities arise or your business environment changes, the objective and strategies in your marketing plan will point you toward the best action. Without a marketing plan, you are guessing what might be best for your business. And don’t forget to address your Web site in the marketing plan. Without a marketing plan your Web site may be a drain on your finances rather than a business builder.

Also, understand you do not need a marketing degree and a lot of experience to update or create a marketing plan for your business. Once you have a structure to follow, the rest is a matter of rolling up your sleeves and getting it done. There is no single approach to developing a marketing plan. There is a wide selection of books, toolkits, and software to help you through the planning process. Some approaches require a great deal of time and others are “quick and dirty.” All can be applied to your business as a whole, an individual product, or your Web site.

So, in all the hustle and bustle of everyday business activities, don’t forget to take the time to update an existing marketing plan or write a new one. Your future profits depend on it!

Internet Marketing Plan – Do You Have an Internet Marketing Plan Written Down?

So, you own your own home business and you think things are going great but do you actually have an Internet marketing plan? In most cases, people can’t even tell you what their Internet marketing plan is because it’s not written down anywhere. The only plan they have is in their head, and it changes daily. If you want to be successful with this. You have to write down your marketing plan and schedule your tasks on an hour by hour daily basis. You should have a set schedule for the entire week and always update your to do list.

For most home business owners it’s your Internet marketing plan that will be the difference between success and failure. So it is critical to set up your very own plan ahead of time. You can’t get anywhere unless you know where you are going and why you are going there.

What is an Internet marketing plan?

This is your work plan and it should include your goals and motives for marketing online. It should have all your marketing methods and tactics that you use in your business to achieve success. And it should be very detailed all the way down to daily basis. If you want to work with a little structure, which is required to avoid wasting time on unprofitable tasks.

Your Internet marketing plan can be one page or 100 pages. The more detailed it is the easier it will be to follow and that is the key you want to be easy to follow and you’ll have your whole week planned out. You should include a daily checklist of the tasks you wish to do. This will keep you on track and you’ll stop wasting so much time or forgetting to do tasks.

Here are some tips for setting up your own Internet marketing plan:

Number one, write down your marketing plan on paper. Hardly any business owners have a plan written down, they keep it all in their head. An Internet marketing plan has to be written down so that you will be able to go over it daily. This is how you keep your business on track and track what you are doing. You will find it much easier to find your wasted time by going over this plan every Sunday.

Build a broad Internet marketing plan which has many Internet marketing strategies. Do not only use one or two strategies. You want to use many and test which ones are effective for your business. You don’t want all your eggs in one basket because if things change you will be out of business. Instead you want multiple streams of traffic that is almost impossible to turn off. If you only use Google AdWords and Google changes the rules your business will quickly come to a standstill.

It is very important when setting up your Internet marketing plan to start out with strategies that have already been proven. And that many other businesses use daily. You don’t want to invent the wheel or try to find the next new thing. Simply use what others are using. Spend some time online, investigating in forums.

Here are some excellent marketing strategies to start with:

Affiliate marketing or selling other peoples products to your visitors is a great way to add income to your business for every visitor to your website. All it takes is a short blurb recommending a product or even a tiny little ad for them to click on which would take them to a sales page where you have a chance to earn a commission.

The very best way to use your website will be to get people to opt in to your subscriber list or your newsletter so that you can contact them again. With Internet marketing over 90% of your visitors will just leave. So it is important to grab their contact information while they are there the first time. Offer some type of free or bonus item, if they give you their name and e-mail address. Make sure it is a great offer that they would not want to miss.

Other methods to advertise your website or small business would be advertising online through e-zines, this is very inexpensive. You can get an ad that will reach 50,000 people for under $25. These e-zines are highly targeted to people that are interested in the topics discussed. And they look forward to reading these e-mail magazines every week. You will find Solo ads are the most effective. These are separate e-mails that goes to all subscribers instead of just being a small ad in the e-zine.

Can you even imagine reaching 50,000 people and introducing them to your business? How many people go to your store everyday? Five to 20. The reach you have online is enormous there are millions of people searching online every single day, but you need an Internet marketing plan to effectively reach them for the least amount of money. A well-written Internet marketing plan increases chance of success and makes your business easier to run on a daily basis.

Why not take tonight and sit down with a pad of paper and write out your Internet marketing plan for your business! Remember one of the bonuses of having an Internet marketing plan on paper means that other people would be able to take over the work for you. When you want to take time off.