5 Easy Steps to Develop a Marketing Strategy

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The benefits of a planned marketing strategy are numerous. Business owners often rely solely on their intuition to make business decisions. While this informal knowledge is important in the decision-making process, it may not provide you with all the facts you need to achieve marketing results. A marketing strategy will help you define business goals and develop activities to achieve them.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 2 hours

Here's How:

  1. Describe your company's unique selling proposition (USP) — write a compelling sentence that describes the essence of your business.
  1. Define your target market — who is the demographic of people who show the most interest in your service or product? 
  2. Write down the benefits of your products or services — how will their features and specs impact, transform your target audience in a positive way? 
  3. Describe how you will position your products or services — from movies and television to newspapers, social media, and word of mouth, which are the best ways to reach your target audience?
  4. Define your marketing methods. Will you advertise, use Internet marketing, direct marketing, or public relations? Depending on your target audience, you will need to pick the best marketing methods to explain, teach, promote how your product or service stands out above other competitors. 

Tips:

  1. Your Unique Selling Proposition sets you out from the rest; it gives your products or services purpose. So don't try to develop a marketing plan without one. You will need it to persuade your target audience into becoming loyal clients. 
  1. It's important that you have a budget developed for your marketing plan. Marketing is an investment. And while a good plan will help you outline your company's product or service strategies, tactics, expenses, and expectations, a budget will ensure that your team follows through on the market roadmap and reach important goals. 
  1. Revisit your marketing plan at least once every quarter. Are you on target? Do you need to revise it? Even though your marketing plan will help you visualize a clear path to success, circumstances can change immediately and make your plan obsolete or outdated. So don't be afraid to review, review, and review!

Use these questions to help you troubleshoot, critique and forecast the successes and shortcomings of your products or services:

  • Do you have the same leads and business opportunities as when you launched your products or services?
  • Is your market changing? Has it expanded, receded, and how is that impacting your business and clients?
  • Are any of your marketing activities working well? And can you trace and new clients or sales to them? 
  • Are your products or services making the expected revenue? Are they costing more to produce or provide than what they bring in?
  • Do you need to adapt, change your sales tactics? And what is the best timeframe to take action — Now? Next quarter? The following year?  

What You Need:

  • A place to concentrate.
  • A pen or pencil.
  • A notebook or journal.