10 Ingredients of a Successful Marketing Plan SDB Creative Group, Inc.

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2 10 Ingredients of A Successful Marketing Plan You know the saying, not planning is planning to fail. Developing a marketing plan for your business gives you a tool that will help you know your business and your customers better. Most successful businesses have a marketing plan. It is a living document, a tool used to measure results and effectiveness. Developing a marketing plan fulfills a vital function of your operation. You must have an intimate knowledge of your customer base and the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. These, along with others, should all be identified in a well-prepared marketing plan. If you do the work right, you will have a good plan outlining how your business can attract and retain customers. It will give you insight and direction on how to compete against your competitors. It will also give you a budget that is needed to achieve the goals you set. A good plan will outline how a business can attract and retain customers, how it will compete against its competitors, and the budget needed to attain positive results. It should include market research, business location, the target customer group, competition, the product or service being sold, budget, and advertising and promotion. There are ten essential ingredients to develop a successful marketing plan.

3 1 Be honest and unbiased The biggest mistake companies make is not developing their plan from the perspective of their buyers. Instead they develop the plan based on their emotions of their business. Take yourself out of your shoes and put on your buyers shoes. How do they view your products, services, industry, competition, and you? If you can be brave and look at everything from your buyers perspective, you will develop a much more effective plan. 2 Clearly define your buyers personas The temptation will be to generalize your target. Ask more questions about who they really are. This will help you determine better ways to reach them. Here are some questions to ask. What is their demographic information? What job do they have and what level of seniority are they? What does a day in their life look like? What pain points do they have? What do they value most? What are their goals? Where do they go for information? What experience are they looking for when shopping for your products and services? What are their most common objections to your product or service? 3 Clearly identify your competition Who are your direct competitors? Who are your indirect competitors? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What is the definition of their products and services? What are the benefits of their products and services? What is the lifespan of their products and services? How does their pricing compare to yours? What is the quality of their product and services?

4 Are there any restrictions to their products and services? Where are their products and services purchased? Where are they used? When are their products and services purchased? How frequently are they purchased? What is your their area by geography and population? Are there any technological threats that pose a threat to their business? Why do people currently buy from your competition? Why do people not buy from your competition? What do you like and dislike about their marketing? What are their peak selling times of the year? 4 Clearly define your products and services What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What is the definition of your products and services? What are the benefits of your products and services? What is the lifespan of your products and services? How does your pricing compare to your competitors? What is the quality of your product and services? Are there any restrictions to your products and services? Where are your products and services purchased? Where are they used? When are your products and services purchased? How frequently are they purchased? What is your trade area by geography and population? Are there any technological threats that pose a threat to your business? Why do people currently not buy from you? Why do they buy from you? What are your peak selling times of the year?

5 5 Clearly define your goals What is your short term sales goal? What is your long term sales goal? What are the possible obstacles that could prevent you from reaching this goal? What is your annual target rate of growth? Clearly define your sales process Identify each step your buyers and you go through together. What is their buying cycle? How do they initially come into contact with you? How many times do they have contact with you before buying? Is this the same answer for your competition? What follow up do you do? 6 Clearly define your current marketing and advertising Do you have marketing research? Do you engage in public relations activities? Do you use an advertising agency Is all your marketing interconnected and focused? What forms of media are you using? Which one are the most and least effective? What is the quality of your creative assets? Do you have a slogan Is your marketing projecting the perception you want of your company? Do your buyers currently share this perception? What was the most the most and least successful advertising you ever

6 7 Clearly define your marketing and advertising budget The average marketing and advertising budget is 3.5-5% of annual gross sales. This number may be more or less depending on your industry. To know what your industry average is you can download a copy of the Advertising to Sales Ratios. What percentage of sales was used for marketing and advertising last year? If this number is less than the industry average, it may not be financially responsible to immediately increase it to the industry average. Gradual increases may make more sense until your budget is up to industry standards. If it is over the industry average, there may be an opportunity to decrease your advertising and marketing budget while maintaining the same effectiveness 8 Clearly define your plan s execution Define the responsibilities for creative development Define the responsibilities for media buying Define the workflow for how leads are handled Define the workflow for follow up Set dates for evaluating the performance of the plan 9 Pull the trigger You can t stop a bullet once it has been fired, and you should look at your marketing plan in the same way. If you have been thorough and honest in your planning, you should have an effective plan. Don t stop it before it has a chance to start working. Evaluate monthly, but be hesitant to change unless there are serious flaws in the execution. It s ok to tweak, but don t get into the habit of shooting from the hip. This is what you did before you had a plan.

7 10 Monitor and review with discipline Rome was not built in a day, and a successful marketing and advertising campaign is not going to be either. Be patient. If you have really done the work right, your plan should work. It may take some time for it to take off though. If you don t see results right way, have the discipline to wait it out for at least three months before making major changes to it. The biggest mistake made is when the expectation is set that new customers are going to automatically beat your doors down. When this doesn t happen giving up and completely stopping your campaign to save money, or radically changing what you are doing are the absolute worst things you can do. So how do you know when it is working? Simple. Your campaign is generating new leads. This can be measured by comparing your call volume, website traffic, inquries, social media engagement, and in-store traffic volumes to those prior to launching your campaign. When your campaign is generating new leads your sales should also be increasing. If they are not, then that is a separate issue on how you are converting leads into sales. So now it s time for you to get started on your marketing plan! Remember not planning is planning to fail, so you have no excuses. If you get stuck, need some help, or feel an outside perspective would be valuable, it may make sense for you to hire an expert. Hiring an expert also will save you a tremendous amount of time, energy, and most likely money. Contact SDB Creative Group to find out more about how we can help you with you marketing plan. Contact a marketing plan expert by clicking here.

8 About SDB Creative Group SDB Creative Group 3000 N. Garfield Suite 185 Midland, TX (432) Follow Us! SDB Creative Group Is A Leading Full-Service Marketing and Advertising Agency Providing Effective, Profitable Solutions Through Traditional and Inbound Marketing Methods. We provide and produce all forms of advertising media and creative assets needed to run an effective advertising campaign. The advantage for our clients is that it all happens under one roof. SDB Creative Group delivers Smart Marketing to our clients. The experience our clients have is going from shooting from the hip and not knowing what is effective to having a fully integrated advertising and marketing campaign where every element is carefully researched and planned with measurable results. SDB Creative Group essentially acts as your company s marketing department. What does this mean for you? It means with our company on your side you no longer have to meet or take calls from hundreds of advertising sales people. It means you can have a truly unbiased opinion on what the best method is to attract new buyers through your advertising. It means you can have a real marketing plan that works. It means you can have high quality creative assets that out-perform your competition. It means you get your time back to focus on your business. 10 Ingredients of a Successful Marketing Plan

C G. Got a Plan? MARKETING. How to Build Your Marketing Plan & Budget. PCGMarketing.com. P.O. Box 4633 Des Moines, Iowa 50305 515.360.

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