How to design your marketing plan

  • There is no better way to meet the needs of those you wish to serve than by understanding what it is you have to offer.
  • Understanding the fundamental aspects of your business will help you distinguish your product from your competitors, and it allows you to position your marketing efforts better.
  • Remember, you are simultaneously marketing to people that have never heard of you, as well as those that have already considered you in the past, and each should be approached in a different manner.

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Last week, we talked about how to identify your target market. Today, we will discuss the next step — designing a solid marketing plan.

Having identified your target market, you must proceed to cater to those clients. There is no better way to meet the needs of those you wish to serve than by understanding what it is you have to offer.

Conduct a self-evaluation, otherwise known as a situation analysis. As the name suggests, a situation analysis should provide you with a brief, succinct overview of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Understanding the fundamental aspects of your business will help you distinguish your product from your competitors, and it allows you to position your marketing efforts better.

The next step is to identify what it is you hope to accomplish. What do you want your marketing to achieve? Take a minute to write down a short list of the things you hope to get out of your next marketing campaign.

Do you want sales to increase 30 percent? Be as specific as possible because you need to know what you are working toward.

Once you have identified the specific goals of your marketing campaigns, you will have a better idea of what needs to be done and the steps that need to be taken. That is essentially the cornerstone of any plan: creating a standard against which you will be able to compare your performance accurately.

I have found that the best marketing campaigns target prospects at all stages of the sales cycle: cold, warm and hot leads.

Remember, you are simultaneously marketing to people that have never heard of you, as well as those that have already considered you in the past, and each should be approached in a different manner.

Stay tuned Tuesday for part 3: “How to identify your marketing strategies.”

Than Merrill is the founder and CEO of FortuneBuilders Inc. and CT Homes. Connect with Than on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @ThanMerrill.

Email Than Merrill.