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10 Steps to an Extraordinary Marketing Plan

Do you want a Marketing Plan that sets out your marketing purpose clearly and concisely? Then you need to follow these steps to guarantee marketing success.

Step 1: Write down the purpose of your business

This is a one sentence summary of what the purpose of your business is.

Step 2: Define your market situation

  • What are your customers doing?
  • What are your competitors doing?
  • What is your market environment doing?

Step 3: Set goals and objectives

You cannot have a plan if you do not know where your are going. Your goal tells you where you are going and your objective tells you how you are going to get there.

Step 4: Define your market

Know your customer profile – who they are, where they are and how they are.

Step 5: Use your marketing plan to advance your position, brand and creative strategy

  • Your Position-this is the niche that only your business can fill in your customers mind
  • Your Brand–the characteristics and attributes and implied promises that customers remember about your business
  • Your Creative Strategy-the strategy that you will follow to endorse your brand and position in all of your marketing communications

Step 6: Set your marketing strategies

Use your plan to go into extensive detail about the following priorities:

  • Product strategies
  • Distribution strategies
  • Pricing strategies
  • Promotion strategies

Remember to add any other strategies that may be crucial to your market and business.

Step 7: Outline your tactics

Detail the tactics you will be employing to implement the above strategies. These are the various procedures that you will be following in order to implement these strategies, for example:

  • Develop product brochure
  • Develop publicity plan
  • Develop a web page etc

Step 8: Establish your budget

Do not just use last years’ budget where you just add an x amount for inflation. Begin from scratch and remember to add in all variables based on the tactics in step 7. Do not forget to make provision for additional staff, freelancers etc that may be needed to implement your marketing tactics.

Step 9: Blueprint your action plan

Put an action plan together detailing what needs to be done, by when and by whom. Allocate deadlines, budgets and responsibility clearly to ensure that team members are aware at all times of scope of work.

Step 10:Think long term

Indicate possible market development opportunities that you will research over the next 12 months. Some things should not be rushed into so use the time available to go into detail with these opportunities so that when it is time to develop next years’ marketing plan you will have all the info available.

Last step (but most certainly not the least): All of the above steps are of absolutely no use if this step is not implemented: USE YOUR PLAN!

Two Big Content Creation Rules For An Info Marketing Business

When you build an info marketing business you should already know and appreciate that content creation will form a very important and integral part of your plan. When marketing to a niche or sub niche market, the prospects and customers are seeking content that is of an acceptable quality, be of value and also helpful for them to utilise in the pursuit of their interest.

There are two very important factors to concentrate on when creating content and by achieving this you will be on the correct path of building a loyal following which will form the foundation of your info marketing business. So what two factors must be used within your content? The ultimate goal you should be aiming for in the various forms of content that you create, especially blog posts and emails to your list members is for you to impart information to the readers that is desirable to them and in a way that they will find enjoyable. The key is to provide them with helpful information they want in an enjoyable way and avoid offering just anything in the most boring way possible as the consequences of that will be your internet business will become a rather lonely place to be.

It is a fact that most people read because they enjoy a good story. Now, whilst you will be giving factual information in relation to your niche subject rather than fiction, you need to be able to write it in a fashion that will not bore the reader to death. By practising the art of writing, you can make what may be a “dry” subject a much easier read by writing in a “lighter” style. Try using comparisons and analogies by comparing one thing with another. Remember, the prospect or customer has a huge amount of information constantly directed towards them and their time is limited. If those in the niche arrive at your blog and website to seek content, ensure that what they find will entice them to return on a regular basis. Through providing content in an entertaining way, you will create a very good chance of those interested in what you have to say staying with you for the long term.

Your content should not be just all fun as it should set out to also educate and teach the reader the answers, way forward, solve the problem, to progress their interest and for it to be worthwhile for them giving you their attention. They want to find out more information, they want to learn and whether that is solving a problem or furthering an interest, you should be establishing yourself as the go to person that supplies the very information that they are looking for.

So using these two content creation rules for an info marketing business the target is to achieve a balance between the two. Don’t bore, yet don’t be flippant, give valuable and helpful information yet delivered in a style that the reader can understand and use. And the easiest way to achieve this is to practice your writing techniques, look at content that you enjoy and learn from the style of writing. It does take some work, yet it is a very important part of building an information marketing business.

Importance of a Marketing Plan

Success in anything we do in life is never a fluke or luck, it is built on a solid plan and good execution of that plan. As entrepreneurs nothing is more critical to your success then a good plan and in addition to a very thought out over all plan we must have a very strong marketing plan. It does not matter what business you are in, you could be a tax accountant, a lawyer, a gutter cleaner, a painter what ever service or product you want to offer does not pay the bills. What pays the bills is having customers that are interested in paying you to perform that service. If they do not know you exist there is not going to be too many customers beating down your door. You could be the very best at what you do but unless people know that you are available to do what you do they will never know you are the best. The easy route is to think that you are good and word of mouth will spread quickly enough to ensure you always have business to cover your expenses.

While word of mouth is one good way to market it can not be your only way of marketing. If that is your only way of marketing be prepared for long stretches of no business coming your way, and as those stretches get longer the chance for word of mouth to spread becomes less and less. The truth is you need several channels working for you at any given time to bring customers to your door. In order to ensure you have effective channels working for you and that you are always doing some marketing you need to sit down and write a marketing plan.

I know that sitting down and writing a marketing plan is not on the top of your list of fun things to do but it is important and essential to your business. It does not need to be a long, masterful work of art either, it just needs to capture some critical pieces and give you a reference tool when you are searching for new ways to find customers. In reality the mere act of sitting down and writing anything will amaze you at how much it helps. OK so now you are sitting in front of you computer to write your Marketing Plan and the cursor is blinking at you, and blinking at you, and blinking at you and you have no idea where to start. Again it does not need to be a book it just needs to capture some basic info for you to execute on. Here are some guidelines on what should be included, feel free to improvise based on the products/service you are selling as well as your own style. Here is a short list of things you should seriously consider having in your marketing plan:

· What Products and Services do you offer? Do not just think of the big things but maybe some of the smaller ancillary items you offer which may help to set you apart.

· Features and Benefits of your products/service. The key here is to truly associate a benefit to each feature you offer and think in the mind of the customer. What is the benefit to the customer of using your product?

· Target market This one is important as it will determine where you want to market. Even if you offer a product or service that everyone uses really try to think of specific groups or segments that would be most interested. It will help you narrow down where to market.

· Main Competition This is good research to do and know so you understand the market place in which you are trying to compete.

· Sales Channels This is your list of ideas on where you think you should place ads or place your marketing efforts.

There are five easy segments to at least get you started and you will be amazed at how quickly you can think of things in each of these areas that applies to you and your business. Again the mere act of sitting down, thinking about these issues and coming up with ideas will do wonders for your marketing efforts and your business overall. If you are in business for yourself you should have at least 20% of your time each week dedicated to some type of marketing efforts. The first line of business you are in as an entrepreneur is marketing because without customers you do not have a business.