This is a new series of Marketing Tips, aimed at helping small business owners to gain new clients, increase their profits and generate more income. We aim to share at least one tip with you each week. These tips are taken from our eBook “Simple Marketing Ideas: Volume 1”, which you can get for free by signing up to our Newsletter on the right —>
Create A Plan And Checklist
Everywhere we go in business, people ask us to write plans and lists. Everything from a business plan to a financial plan or a marketing plan. If you were to create every single plan that you were told to do, you’d likely end up spending the rest of your life planning and never actually get any work done.
At AntiSushi, we’re very big on practical marketing and we like to make sure that your marketing delivers the best possible return on your investment. Without having even a simple marketing plan for your business, you will end up wasting your money and promotional efforts, meaning that you have to sell even more products or even more hours of services to make up for your loss.
It’s actually quite easy to create a marketing plan. All you need to do is answer 3 key questions.
Question 1: What unique benefits does my product or service deliver?
A benefit is an outcome, something that solves a problem. A simple place to start with this is to list all of the features of your business and then ask yourself how each feature actually creates a benefit to your customer. Once you have your list of benefits you can then pick out the few that make your business stand out from the rest. These benefits make up your USP (Unique Selling Point).
Question 2: Who are my most likely customers?
There isn’t really a company in the world that can say their product or service is for everyone. “Everyone” is an incredibly big market to aim at, and very very expensive too. Think about who your product/service appeals to. For example, a product that appeals to a retired couple in the USA is likely to be very different to a product that appeals to a teenage girl in the UK. Try to define your most likely customers based on who can benefit the most from your product or service.
Once you have got a clear definition of your customers, you can then start to create a profile of them. This could include, which papers or magazines they read, which websites they visit, what is important to them, whose opinion matters to them and what other kinds of products/services they buy. The answers to each section of your customer profile will help you to understand where and when you should be marketing your business.
Question 3: What are the most appropriate marketing methods to use?
This is the point where most people actually start their marketing campaign. However, in a good marketing plan, it is actually the last point that should be considered. Since you’ve already answered questions 1 and 2, this question can actually be phrased even more simply: What are the most cost-effective ways of getting your message (Q1) to your most likely customers (Q2)?
These methods could include anything from direct mail via email or post, newspaper/magazine adverts, press releases, product/service trials, discount vouchers or just good marketing of your website so that you are found at the top of the rankings in Google or Yahoo.
Congratulations – Now that you have answered the above 3 questions, you have a marketing plan. You also have a very useful checklist for all of your marketing:
- Does this marketing idea let me communicate my message?
- Does it target my ideal customers?
- Is it cost effective compared to other ideas and my budget?
If the answers to these questions are ‘Yes’, then it’s worth testing your idea. If the answers are ‘no’, then you either need to ammend the idea or forget it and try something else.
We’re offering FREE marketing consultations to business owners, wherever you are in the world. If you have ideas you want to talk about or if you would like us to help you market your product or service, please book a FREE consultation today. We can help you assess where you are with your business and which strategies will help you to increase your sales and bring new clients to you.