Virtually all businesses need a marketing plan, but it may be that only the successful ones realize that. A business, no matter how well planned, nor innovative the product or service, needs a marketing plan in order to succeed. A marketing plan must contain several key elements, which must be met regardless of the level of funding available to the business owner. Developing a marketing strategy takes time and research, which may mean dollars and cents. The expense of the time needed to strategize the plan may be repaid manyfold by true marketing success.
Know What Needs the Product or Service Will Fill
It may sound straightforward, but those that begin without a solid marketing plan may not fully realize all the possibilities of their product or service. An effort must be given to exhaust all possible uses of the business. The more uses that are marketed to the consumer, the larger the potential customer base.
Know the Target Customer
An effective business marketing plan would discover their target consumers and how best to reach them. It makes little sense to market a product or service to the wrong audience. It would be a waste of time, money and resources to try to advertise to a group that would have little use for what a business is offering. A solid marketing plan determines who the potential consumers are, and how best to reach them.
Know the Competition
It’s imperative to the health of any business to know as much as possible about any competition to their product or service. A marketing plan should focus on the competition, and strategize how best to proceed. It isn’t a bad idea to research their business marketing plan, as well.
Know the Right Price Point
Taking into consideration the costs to manufacture products or perform service, distribution, marketing and the expected profit, the price is important. Too low, and and it may be believed to be inferior. Too high, and it may be priced out of reasonable reach. It’s imperative to find the right price for the right consumer audience.
Know the Plan When Something Goes Wrong
Part of a good marketing scheme includes excellent customer service. When unexpected problems arise, a business needs to know how to handle it well. In today’s arena of social media, word of mouth travels at the speed of technology. Market research has proven time and again that the consumer demands a quick, efficient and pleasing solution to a problem they may encounter with a business. And whether they receive good service or bad service, they talk about it, and not just on social media, either. There are websites devoted to reviewing products and services, and a business wants to maintain good reviews to further their sales.
Developing a good marketing plan should be on the top of the to-do list for an up and coming business. Many times, and often due to initial demand, a marketing plan is not established. Without it, long range goals may not be reached.