6 Keys to Planning a Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business
Marketing a small business can be expensive and time consuming, particularly if the business is new or has recently been relaunched. Planning a solid marketing strategy is the best way to ensure the success of any marketing campaign, as it provides a clear outline of your goals and a plan of action for achieving them.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Assessing the strengths of your business and employees can help in the planning and implementation of your marketing strategy. You may have employees with skills, training or experience in specific areas of marketing that could be helpful during the planning stage of your campaign.
Similarly, if your business has a good local reputation, it will be easier gain the trust of potential customers in the local area. Identifying the weaknesses of your business can also help to highlight areas for improvement, as well as any professional training that your employees may need.
The first step in planning a marketing strategy is to assess the resources you already have. For example, if you have a computer and access to the Internet, you already have the resources to use social media, email and other online communications as part of your marketing campaign. Similarly, if you own a local business and want to advertise locally, you may be able to use your business premises, vehicle or home to raise awareness of your products or services. Building local citations is another winning strategy.
Once you have assessed your current resources, you need to make a list of any other resources that may be required. For example, you may need software to protect your client information, particularly if you are dealing with sensitive data. Similarly, if you intend to create promotional flyers or brochures to distribute locally, you may want to invest in a heavy duty printer.
Identifying and researching your target audience is essential, as it will help you to plan important aspects of your marketing campaign, such as how and where to reach your audience. For example, if your business sells computer games, your target audience is likely to be young males with an interest in gaming culture and enough disposable income to purchase your products. You might even consider etsy to sell your product.
The more information you can gather about your target audience, the easier it will be to choose the right publications, websites and other locations for marketing your products. Online forums are useful for gathering information about your target audience, as you can find out which magazines they read, which websites they visit and which social media platforms they use.
When planning your marketing strategy, you need to consider a range of factors, including the cost, building an e-commerce website and seo for ecommerce website. It is important to gather all necessary research, resources and essential information in advance, as this will ensure that you are prepared for any unexpected challenges.
For example, if your business sells food items to the public, you need to research your legal responsibilities carefully, as you may be held accountable for any illness arising from customers consuming your goods.
Brainstorming ideas for promoting your products and reaching your intended audience helps to provide different perspectives and options for your marketing strategy. Ask employees, family, friends and even social media users which types of marketing they think your customers will respond to.
Research the marketing campaigns of your competitors, as well as industry leaders. Write down as many ideas as possible, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. Once you have a comprehensive list of ideas, you can choose the best approach to suit your business.
Setting clear goals is essential for any marketing campaign. Goals should be specific and measurable, ideally with a set time limit. For example, your first goal might be to achieve ten sales in your first week.
Meanwhile, you could set yourself a financial target for the end of your first twelve months of trading. Setting both short-term and long-term goals helps to keep you motivated.