Marketing is a crucial part of business development. A successful marketing plan allows your company to help convince customers to purchase your products or services and raises your brand recognition among your target audience. As you develop marketing strategies for your business, consider how you can use promotional tools that fit within your budget and reach potential customers when they are most receptive. Effective marketing can boost your sales and profits, and contribute to business growth.
Know your audience. One of the most important foundations of a marketing plan is a solid knowledge of your target customer. List the types of people who would be in the market for your type of product or service, and do research to gather additional information. Find statistical data about your business location, including consumer buying behaviors, economic information and information about family size. Collect information about the habits, preferences, jobs and goals of your target audience.
Research your competitors. Find out how to stand out from other companies that are selling similar products or services by getting to know them. Collect brochures, look at their websites, and take note of how they present their unique selling points. Compare your products to competitors' products and identify the reasons a customer should choose yours above all others.
Lay out marketing strategies to achieve business goals. Write a marketing plan that explains the results of your audience analysis and market research, and explains how your product or service will stand out from the crowd. Conclude the report with a section that explains the marketing activities you will undertake to support your company's strategic plan and business goals. Develop a calendar that plots each marketing activity at a specific time over the year, making sure that your marketing budget will cover each strategy.
Design marketing materials that speak to your target audience. Focus on the needs of your customers and write copy that explains clearly how your product or service will benefit them. Based on your audience analysis, use language, images and graphics that appeal to the ideal customer.
Establish a presence across a variety of media. In the beginning of a marketing program, you can try out a variety of efforts to find the ones that will be the most effective for your target audience. As time passes, monitor the success of each strategy and eliminate those that do not achieve results and a high return on investment.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images