Every small business should have a marketing plan with strategies and action plans to implement throughout the year. A marketing project is a series of related action plans that further the implementation of your marketing strategies. A project has a clear, well-defined beginning and end. For example, advertising takes place on a weekly or monthly basis, but developing the ads for the first quarter of the year is done once and would be a marketing project. The first step in any marketing project is determining the budget for the project.
Setting up an advertising campaign consists of several different projects. Determining the most effective media outlets to place the ads in is one project. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online venues are all possibilities. Determining the message of the ad and its graphics, design and size is another project. Developing a procedure to analyze the ads to see if they were effective is still another.
There's a holiday in nearly every month, such as New Year's Day in January, Valentine's Day in February, and St. Patrick's Day in March, right up through Christmas in December. Choose the holidays that are the most relevant to your business for special promotions, each of which will be a marketing project. For example, a children's clothing boutique could decorate for Easter with bunny toys, Easter baskets and spring flowers. A heating and cooling repair and installation company could offer a Labor Day furnace inspection to get ready for the winter ahead. A landscaping company or plant nursery could hand out packages of flower seeds to their customers on the first day of spring.
Trades shows were a $13 billion industry in the U.S. as of November 2012, according to IBISWorld, a marketing research firm. Wherever your business is located, there's most likely a tradeshow in your industry happening near you. Exhibiting at a trade show is an intensive project, from designing the booth to creating the promotional materials. Besides trade shows, there are fairs and events focused on any number of market niches. Guns, classic cars, brides, food, home and garden, gems, and art are just a few examples, and some exhibitions are eclectic enough to be inclusive of almost any type of booth.
Designing new promotional materials is a project with lasting results. An online presence is vital for business, but that doesn't mean that hard-copy promotional materials should be ignored. When networking, meeting potential clients, or attending business functions, it's still necessary to give out a business card or brochure. Call attention to your company by having an unusual business card. For example if you're a medical device salesperson, your card might be a replica of an x-ray. A grocery store owner could use a business card shaped like an apple. Unusual materials for a business card work as well. A beauty salon could hand out miniature combs. A plumber could use thin copper sheets with the information stamped on the copper.
Getting your name "out there" happens when it's on the back of a sports team's uniform. This marketing project lasts as long as the sport's season. Sponsor an employee team, a school's team, or a youngster's recreational sport such as soccer, football or baseball. Besides sponsoring uniforms, you may be asked to help out with purchasing equipment. High school teams probably won't let your name be on the uniform, but it likely can go on a banner and in the game's program.