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How to Make Marketing Plans

What is a marketing plan? If you have heard that these plans will help you in your business plan, then you are absolutely at the right place. An advertising plan is a detailed and documented strategy that is needed to achieve you business goal. This is usually a part of your business plan. Outstanding marketing strategy is direct result of well researched and details marketing plan. In marketing a product, research of every aspect of product and its environment is done. The research is done to the atomic levels.

Plans are mainly made of five basic parts:

1. Marketing and environment analysis
2. Fixed marketing target
3. Setting marketing strategy
4. Marketing mix
5. Marketing controlling

Marketing plans are made up of above five parts. First is marketing and environment analysis. As the name suggests, in this you have to know the product and environment i.e. customer. Knowing the product and how it will be shown to the customer and how the customer will react to that. These plans consider this step as the basic and one of most important step. You have to know how to present your product in a specific environment in best suited and accepted way. For this you have to know your product. Next in marketing plan is fixing marketing targets. This is direct result of the marketing and environment analysis.

While setting targets of marketing, you can’t neglect the facts of your previous study. This has to be set so, that you reach your targets and even keep its demand alive for future. You can not over flood the market with your product knowing that it will be absorbed. This always results in sudden fire back of the product and the market dies out for that product. Targets are set now you need to think how to sell the product. This step can actually ruin you whole work and efforts if you don’t get it right.

Advertising plans depend a lot on setting marketing strategy. The way you present the product in the market will help you achieve you target that you have set. This is taken as pivot of the whole advertising plan. This process is what will be seen as by your environment or what we call are consumers. In marketing plan we have to consider this very carefully. We can’t make it a thing for short period.

We have to shape it in a manner that it always has a hope to extend its capacities. Promotion plan then comes down to marketing mix. In this marketing plans have to be executed and all marketing strategies are to be mixed and selected in such a way that the marketing plans works out just fine. Strategies have to be mixed up in such a way and perfectly balanced that they just backup each other. Next comes, market control in marketing plan. In this you have to rely on your research of product and environment. This does directly affect the marketing plan. This is how these plans has to be documented and structured.

Is Your Marketing Plan Really Ready? 3 Key Steps to a Marketing Plan Audit

As I’ve reported many times…many of you do not even HAVE a marketing plan-at least not a documented plan you use to execute and measure sales and marketing success on a monthly basis. And most companies who do have a documented plan (I’m sorry to say) have not done the job they need to do in order to achieve big aspirations on limited budgets! There is a lot of waste in most marketing plans I audit.

So I want to address those of you who have made the effort to develop a marketing plan. I want you to be the BEST that you can be! Have you reviewed your past successes and failures, evaluated your target markets, competition, and brand position? Have you established a structured sales process and marketing mix? Do you have an adequate budget allocated?

Follow these three steps to my Marketing Audit process and make sure your marketing plan is ready for prime time:

1. Assign Auditor(s). If you are the main architect of your marketing plan/strategy, you shouldn’t be the auditor. You can’t be objective enough. Find colleagues who you respect to audit your plan. This could be an internal contact, an external influencer, or both. Make sure whomever you choose can be candid, honest, and constructive.

2. Define Audit Criteria. Define the key criteria you wish to have your marketing plan judged by. Make sure your list is complete and covers all key sections of a strong marketing plan-goals, research, organization, brand, products/services, target market, competition, sales process, marketing mix, implementation calendar, and budget.

3. Create a Marketing Plan Audit Template. Use your audit criteria to develop a template you can provide your auditors. For each of the marketing plan sections you are evaluating, create questions meant to assess the completeness and effectiveness of that section. For example, in goals you might ask, “Are the business, sales, and marketing goals defined clearly?” and “Can each goal be measured and tracked?” Make sure the template is comprehensive, easy to use, and includes a scoring system to determine the overall readiness of your marketing plan.

Following this process, you will ensure you have developed what will be a successful marketing plan. But make sure you go into the process with an open mind and thick skin. You don’t have to take every recommendation your auditor makes, but if you don’t seriously consider each, you are selling your potential…and the process…short!

Create Steady Consulting Income by Using a Consistent Marketing Plan

The feast or famine syndrome is something all independent consultants, freelancers, or self-employed persons in general have to deal with. It’s the nature of business, particularly in some industries, such as healthcare. Fortunately, there are steps you can take that will make the peaks and valleys of your cash flow a little less significant.

The problem that most consultants face is that from time to time, business starts pouring in and time becomes scarce. Many entrepreneurs tend to put marketing on the back burner when things get brisk, because they think they can’t handle any more business at that time anyway. As a result, marketing gets neglected until business slows significantly, and then rushed, unplanned, and last-ditch marketing efforts are thrown together in an attempt to bring in enough business to pay the bills.

What most freelancers fail to realize is that creating a marketing plan that should be followed no matter what, and sticking to it, will result in a much steadier stream of business and income. You will never eliminate the feast or famine syndrome entirely, but you can learn to plan and prioritize in such a way that a slow month or two isn’t a major issue. Having a basic marketing plan that is to be followed through consistently over a period of time, and having planned, well thought-out activities that are to be utilized to ramp up your marketing campaign during slow periods is the best way to keep your consulting cash flow more consistent.

Conveying a consistent message repeatedly and regularly to a target audience over a period of time is the most effective way to deliver your marketing communication. Whether your typical marketing plan is planned ahead for one month, three months, six months, or a year or more, it should be broken down into manageable pieces that are to be completed in regular intervals. This is to ensure that your efforts will be spread out pretty consistently, and not conducted in brief spurts. By planning activities that you will utilize on a weekly basis, you will ensure that your audience will have an opportunity to receive your message at least monthly, which depending on the nature of your business, may be frequent enough to keep your business top-of-mind.

Consistent marketing efforts don’t have to require a significant amount of your time or a lot of money. Many independent consultants primarily use free or nearly free methods of marketing their business with great success. Marketing strategies such as networking, maintaining an up-to-date website or blog, an article marketing campaign, and sharing your expertise on online discussion boards are all free or low cost ways to bring in new business. They are also all easily broken down into manageable goals and small commitments of time, and these are the types of marketing strategies that you want to focus on for your basic marketing plan.

In creating a weekly marketing plan, you should choose three or four activities that you would like to complete each week, and set a realistic goal for yourself that you are willing to commit to without fail. You could commit to writing two articles per week and submitting them to online article directories or to trade publications in your industry. You could set a goal to update your website or blog at least three times each and every week, or attend at least one networking event per week. You could set a goal of making a minimum of two new business contacts each week, using a combination of in-person networking and online social networking.

Ideally, your plan should consist of several types of marketing activities, but if your schedule truly does not permit that level of commitment, a minimum of two. Think about yourself and the marketing messages that you encounter each and every day. Seeing an advertisement or a mention of a business might impact you if the message is a good one, but seeing that same business again in a different medium or different context the very next day might make you think that this particular business must be doing quite well to be that prevalent in the media. A perception that a business is well established or does high quality will typically favorably influence potential clients or customers.

Be sure to have a back-up plan prepared in advance. There will still be slow times, and when you have extra time, you want to have well thought-out strategies that you can tap into. Trying to plan and execute marketing tactics at the last minute, during periods of stress, can only increase your anxiety. It’s important to maintain a positive attitude as an independent consultant, and you don’t want your clients or potential clients to pick up on your negative vibes.

While strategic planning might not be your favorite activity, having a consistent plan will allow you to stay more organized, more focused, and more able to devote your undivided attention to the needs of your clients. Your marketing message will be consistently delivered to your target audience, and your slow periods won’t be as severe. When those slow times do come, your back-up plan will be waiting to be implemented, and you’ll be back to being busy in no time.