I hear so many people saying they think marketing plans don’t work. They say this for a few reasons:

  • The marketing plan someone wrote for them didn’t truly contain the legs to make it work and it just sits on a top shelf of a bookcase collecting dust.

  • The marketing plan someone wrote for them didn’t take into consideration the time and money the business had to invest into the plan.

  • The research required to write an effective marketing plan was not done.

Even the simplest of marketing plans can work if the basics are done right! SHE Leads Group offers full-day workshops to do this. In this article, we will cover some of the basics.

What a marketing plan is:

No, it is not your business plan.  Simply said, your marketing plan is going to be your “to-do” list of how you grow your business. It outlines product improvements/additions, pricing strategies, promotion efforts to get qualified leads and retain customers, and the placement or positioning strategy to provide your business with the best opportunity for success.

Who needs a marketing plan:

Every business – period!

Why every business needs a marketing plan:

To truly know your target market, competition, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and then from that outline your goals, strategies and tactics to grow your business

How to write a marketing plan:

Well, a short blog won’t provide all that information, but we can tell you some basics.

  1. What are your goals and vision? To write a marketing plan, you have to know where you want to take your business.

  2. What kind of market research should you do? Maybe you are thinking of starting up a business. You may need to research how many of the same kind of business exists in your geographic area. Or, is there a need for your product or service? Do people even know that your product or service exists?

  3. Who is your target market and don’t say everyone! You may be able to help everyone, but who do you love working with? Who is that ideal client? If you are like most businesses, you don’t have a marketing budget to market to “everyone”. If you try to market to "everyone" in your messaging, you will market to no one.

  4. Once you know your target market, you can zero in on who your competition is. I have had clients say, “I offer something so different that I don’t have competition.” In all those cases, I helped them realize they did have competition. Once you have figured out who your true competition is, do some competitive shops. What are they saying about how they are different/better and the pain points they solve. What is their pricing model? What do they do better than you? What does your business do better than them? What are their weaknesses? Maybe their customer service stinks. That is an opportunity your business can capitalize on if it has superior customer service. What are they doing to market and is it working? Doing secret shops on your competition can provide a great deal of information.

  5. Your SWOT analysis is needed next. It identifies your business internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats.

  6. Finally, when this basic research is done, you can begin to write out your strategies and tactics of your marketing plan. There are 4 P’s of a marketing plan.

    • Product/service – of what you offer, do you need to improve upon it? Do you need to add a product or service offering?

    • Pricing – do you have the right pricing models in place to be most profitable? Do you need to do a price increase, a price decrease, or add package pricing?

    • Promotion – how will you attract new customers and retain existing one?

    • Placement/Positioning – where will you sell your product/service or how will you position your brand?

Any good marketing plan should have an actionable to-do list. At SHE Leads Group, we provide our attendees of our full-day workshop with a marketing plan summary chart. It has each strategy and subsequent tactics outlined with what it is, who is responsible, the budget for each tactic and the timeline to get each tactic done.

If you would like to join our next DIY Marketing Planning workshop, contact SHE Leads Group or call Founder and Trainer, Beth Boen at 720-722-2494 to see if our program is right for you and to get on our wait list.

About the author

Beth Boen, Founder of SHE Leads Group

Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.

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