Every good marketing plan has 5 key components
Every small business needs a current, actionable marketing plan! Without a plan, you are just spending money. No plan, roller coaster sales, added stress, sleepless nights.
1. A Strong Marketing Message.
The first question on the mind of a potential prospect is “What will it do for me?” Most importantly, a good marketing message will answer that question in a compelling way. It will always connect to the emotions of their problem. A good marketing message can be packaged and communicate in many ways.
One way to use your marketing message is right on the home page of your website. If you are not good at writing, it is well worth your investment to hire someone. (Remember, this will be used again and again, so don’t skimp here, pay for the good stuff!)
2. Know Your Best Marketing Channels.
There are 100 or more ways to market your business. However, not all channels perform equally well. You need to experiment and find the 5-10 channels that work best for your business. This will be the focus of activity in your marketing plan. Start small, test, refine, expand. This is another area you should pay for good help.
Yes, you could do it on your own, but I don’t advise that. You will waste a lot of precious time and money if you do it wrong.
3. Set Your Marketing Budget.
Business owners need to create and operate by a budget. Part of that budget is an allocation for marketing expenses. By setting a budget you are more likely to discipline yourself to spend more wisely and effectively. A good rule of thumb is 10% of your gross revenues should be set aside for marketing.
My opinion is this should always be considered “lead generation.” New business, not repeat. There are better ways, (and cheaper), to keep repeat customers. You can check out my thoughts on what kind of returns you should get in this article.
4. Create a Marketing Calendar.
Once you know your best channels/mediums and you know your budget, you should then lay out your marketing activities on a timeline or calendar. Plan what you are going to do each week and/or month. By calendaring your activity you are more likely to generate a steady stream of new business leads.
As a result, you can adjust your efforts up and down to create steady growth and not risk over marketing. Over marketing can kill your business if you are not prepared.
5. Create and Monitor Your Dashboard.
One of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners making is that they do not track and measure the performance of their marketing efforts. The way you do this is to create a “Dashboard” that identifies your activity and tracks to result of everything you do. You should begin by tracking every new lead that comes your way. Where are they coming from?
Evaluate every channel every month. Smart business owners know where every piece of new business comes from! They spend more time and money on the marketing activities that generate the most and best leads.
For your business to be successful you must have a powerful lead generation system. That’s what a good marketing plan does for you. Plan it, track it, measure it, and refine it. Learn to leverage your marketing plan!
It may seem that there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, but is much easier when you have a picture on the box to go by.
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