You have decided to start a business and you are done with all preliminary preparations from finding your target users to arranging money to get it off the ground. You are ready to take the plunge and then out of nowhere, you realise that your market plan is still up in the air. You have already invested a lot of money in your business. You would probably have funded it with loans for unemployed. You cannot afford to be running out of an effective market plan at this moment.
Most of the entrepreneurs do not find it worthwhile. They think that they do not need to waste time in creating a plan as long as they have decided who will be their target audience. Knowing a target user is one thing and marketing your products and services is another.
If you are dealing with multiple products, you should set a different marketing plan. It will consist of all tiny details like money you will need, methods you will use to market your product, and so on. Having a marketing plan beforehand will give you a direction. Here is how you can prepare a marketing plan without taking up much of your time.
Define the target market
First off, you should define in one line about your product or service and then define who will be target users for your products and services. You will have to conduct research to determine which people mainly will be interested in investing in your products and services.
Do forget to find out the answer to why. It is crucial to know why a particular user will buy your product when there are other suppliers in the market, and they have much more experience than you do.
Make sure that you include a USP of your product that makes it different from those of your competitors. If you know the USP, you will be able to market your goods and services in a better way.
Note down benefits of your products and services
Even though your product is not different from your competitors, you will have to jot down some points that you will use to attract your target users. Note down the benefits of your products.
Make sure that these benefits have the potential to spur your users on investing in your products. Emphasise those points that play a paramount role in buying decision of your customers.
You have got to know about your target audience and how your product or service will be different from your competitors. Now is the time to lay down an impactful strategy. Here is what it will include:
- Ways you will use to promote your product or service. Will you use traditional marketing ways or online marketing methods or both?
- Prices you will set for the product or service. You will have to study the market. You cannot charge over the market price, and if you charge lower than your competitors, you will likely run out of supply. It is a crucial step to set prices.
- Think about special offers you will provide your users with. If you decide on running a sales programme during festival season, for example, think about the duration – whether it will be just a weekend offer or throughout the festive season.
Of course, it does not need to mention that you will use social media channels to promote your products and services. While preparing a marketing plan, you will have to decide on which social networking site you will use to do so, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. What is your purpose of using such sites? Do you just want to go viral or you want to increase traffic to your website?
Result measuring strategy
Your marketing plan will stay incomplete unless you mention ways to measure the results of your effort. Simply promoting your products and services is not enough. It is essential to know how your every effort is paying you off.
Marketing is expensive, and undoubtedly, it requires a lot of investment. Find out if it is turning your customers into sales. In the marketing plan, you will have to mention all the ways that you will be used to track your progress.
Making a marketing plan does not need to be complicated at all. If you follow the tips mentioned above, you can easily prepare an effective marketing plan. This will, indeed direct your business. If you are still struggling to make a plan, you should hire a marketing expert.
They will analyse your business, target audience, products and services, vision and mission to prepare a worthwhile marketing plan. You may avoid doing so because it is quite a time consuming, but it will pay you off in the long run. If you do not want to end up scratching your head to think what to do next, prepare a marketing plan.