Monday, October 5, 2009

Essentials For Marketing Your Business

A good marketing plan is essential for a business to be successful. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a major Fortune 500 company, there must be a plan in place that plots out the marketing tactics and strategies for the year ahead. Not only does a marketing plan plot out a direction for the marketing campaigns that will be in place throughout the coming year, but it also allows a company to look back on the plans from previous years to see what worked and what did not.
The foundation of any marketing plan is having a good idea of what your company does, the products it produces and the services it provides.  If you don’t understand who you are and what you do then it is almost impossible to target the right people who need or could benefit from your business.   Targeting your market will allow you to focus your marketing efforts on a specific group of potential customers that in turn will result in more sales.  If you are targeting too many different groups, or the wrong groups you will be wasting your time and your marketing budget.
Once you have figured out who you are as a company, or what your company does, you must develop a ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ (USP) that tells your potential customers the specific benefits they will get if they buy your product or service.  Your USP must be one that your competition does not, or cannot, offer. It must be strong enough to attract new customers.  This is the basis for all your marketing and advertising efforts. It is the unique advantage you have to sell your business. The USP must be dramatic and memorable. It needs to stand out and attract new business. It should also generate word-of-mouth excitement to drive referrals.

After you’ve built the foundation of your new marketing plan, you need to put together a detailed profile of your target market. With this profile you can identify the perfect customers for your products or services.   Your marketing plan must answer three key questions….

What types of people make up your customer base?
Where are they?
What motivates them to buy?

Few businesses ever take the time to answer these - and other - critical questions about their target market in any detail.  This information will put you in an excellent position to redirect your advertising and promotional efforts and money, refine your sales methods and tailor your marketing to the specific segments most likely to buy your products or utilize your services and will give you a significant advantage in the marketplace.

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