Many small business owners find planning their marketing activities a daunting task often creating a feeling of being overwhelmed. There are so many things to consider and so many options to choose from, how will you know what decisions to make? Marketing is an overreaching term used in business everyday to describe a variety of different things, actions and materials that a company uses to attract new customers. It could mean the type of materials you use - logos, business cards, letterhead, brochures, websites etc... or can be interchangeable with the sales team's activities - tradeshows, networking, conferences, events & cold calling or perhaps it could mean your interaction with your customers - customer services, counter service, distribution service, call center activity etc...
Marketing is about all of those things. It is about the science of making an emotional connection with your customer. One that is strong enough to compel them to take action to purchase your product or service and to develop an ongoing relationship with them so they continue to come back again and again. It is a complex process that once mastered, yields significant results.
A marketing plan is the tool to those results. It helps the business owner build the roadmap to success and with the right approach, winning attitude, and these 9 tips, you will have a winning formula to a successful marketing plan.
- Understand Your Buyer
Analyze your market and really understand what your audience wants and needs. The foundation for all marketing is being able to connect on an emotional level with your buyers so take the time to understand and predict what your ideal clients are looking for.
- Make an Emotional Connection
Emotionally engage your audience and keep them coming back for more. People connect and build relationships on emotional connections. Figure out how to create an emotional connection in every component of your marketing. People like to do business with people. Make your marketing interactive and allow customers to get to know you on a personal level. Write about yourself in your newsletters, add photos and invite them into your world.
- Don't Reinvent the Wheel
Take a look at the marketing of other successful businesses and mimic it. Use the same method but change it up to fit your product and your audience. For example, Bill Glazer of GKIC uses a technique called swipe & deploy. Swipe a direct marketing piece for one industry and change it to fit yours.
- Be Unique
Really dig deep to determine how you are different. The simplest of differences can mean big profits. Finding your uniqueness and creating messages to demonstrate those differences will help you attract more customers to your business.
- Stop Selling and Start Story Telling
Weave a story in to your marketing messages. One that is compelling and that your customers can relate with. People tend to connect with people they feel they have something in common with. Remember your reasons for getting into business and use that in your marketing to attract new customers.
- Plan Your Tactics Strategically
Marketing is about being visible and getting your message and your brand into the marketplace. Remember people are busy so make sure you thinking strategically about when and how you are engaging your audience with your material. Your objective is to make an emotional connection and compel your prospect to take action so take the time to plan our your strategy, your delivery and your materials.