Preparing a Marketing Plan for your product or service is a real
eye-opening experience. While we all hope that our product or
service will appeal to the masses, the truth is, that may not
happen. Assembling a Marketing Plan first and foremost forces you
to clearly define what you are selling.
From there, you define the demographics of the market for your
product or services. You research on-going or upcoming trends in
the industry, your existing and potential competition and whether
or not the market is already saturated.
And the time to analyze this valuable information is before you
spend money opening the door to your new business venture. A
marketing plan is one valuable tool that will help your business
Analyze the Market
This section plays an important role in
determining who will purchase your product or service, and why.
You need to identify such attributes as gender, age group, where
they live, their buying habits and their social values.
This section also has you look at the current economic climate
including upcoming changes in laws or technology that might
impact the delivery and/or reception of your product or service.
It's also important to take a close look at your competition
whether it's around the block or around the globe. The more you
know about your competition the better prepared you are to deal
with it. Know their hours of operation, their organizational
structure, their promotions, their advertising outlets, whatever
you can find out.
Identify Marketing Goals and Objectives
With the information about your target market and your
competition in hand, you can better outline your marketing goals
and the steps to take to achieve these goals.
Identify what you think are your company's strength and
weaknesses, and the resources you have available including staff
and finances. Committing your goals and the steps to a calendar
will help keep your marketing efforts on track and provide you
Define Marketing Strategies
Before you can determine how you will market your product or
service, you've got to put together a features and benefits list,
including what it has that the competition lacks. You need a
price point, packaging, and you need to decide if and how much
you are willing to offer as a discount. All of this will help you
properly position it in the marketplace. This information is the
foundation upon which all your marketing and promotional
materials are created.
Next determine the various sources available for marketing your
product or service. Some ideas include print ads, brochures, web
banners, your own web site, trade show exhibits, partnership
opportunities and promotional flyers.
Implementing and Evaluating Marketing Programs
The final two components are equally important. You've got to
define a marketing budget, determine how you want to spend it and
evaluate its effectiveness. Besides the marketing avenue, decide
whether or not you need to hire employees, and what training they
will need. Determine how you will motivate your employees,
including your management, so that they share your goals and
Evaluating your marketing programs is just as important as the
other steps. You may find you need to revise your marketing
efforts including lowering the price, highlighting different
features, even selecting different marketing programs. An
effective marketing plan is one that is regularly updated.
If the thought of creating a Marketing Plan has you overwhelmed,
get yourself marketing plan software. Using software will save
you time because the software knows the right questions to ask.
You fill in the answers as necessary, push some buttons, and
before you know it, you'll be printing a professional-quality
Marketing Plan that will chart your company's future!
Copyright ? 2004 Cavyl Stewart. Get more software tips, strategies and recommendations to help you create your marketing plan by signing up for my Exclusive 100% free, 100% original content ecourse: "Simple Steps To Creating A Rewarding Marketing Plan." To sign up please visit: http://www.find-small-business-software.com/marketing-ecourse.html