Developing a marketing plan can be the most crucial part of running a business. And, yet, it’s one of the functions a lot of businesses ignore. In reality, everyone uses marketing tools to generate new business and to retain their current clientele. But, some do so without always knowing how they achieved this result, and even worse, don’t know how to continue. If a business doesn’t develop and use an effective marketing plan, their bottom line might result in much less profit. This not only includes matching the right marketing tools to the right business, but also the right way to implement each tool.
So, what are marketing tools?
Marketing Tools are the instruments used to gain the attention of your prospective target audience. But, your tools should not stop at just gaining their attention. They should also be aligned to increase the desire to do business with you, too. Think about every situation in which others have heard about you or your business. Now, concentrate on making sure the tools used to create this are productive and positive. These should be the main tools you use most often.
Isn’t this a lot of work?
It can be at first. But, the good news is that most marketing tools, once implemented, keep on working on their own. And, that’s where the hard part comes in. Knowing which tool to implement when, and how, can be a lot of trial and error. You must test and re-test constantly to make sure you’re getting positive results. Keep in mind, the ways to reach your audience changes constantly. So, keep your eyes open to new opportunities and try new things as they align with your goals.
To develop a plan of your own:
- Write down as many marketing tools as possible that you feel would work for your company. Once you’ve written all of them down, write them in order of importance and do-ability. Keep in mind, you may need some extra training in order to implement certain tools properly or you might want to hire someone to implement them for you. It’s better to learn the right way to get the right results or hire an expert than it is to see profits wasted away by doing it the wrong way time and time again.
- You will find as you start listing the tools, that you are probably using many of them already. Group the tools you’re already using together. Now, out of these tools, list which you need to work on a little more to get the best results. Next, make a second list of marketing tools you would like to add to your plan. After you have all the tools listed in order and grouped by importance, you should determine how long it will take to start implementing each one. Put a month or year beside each tool.
- The next thing to consider is time, budget and knowledge of each tool. Put a star by any tool that will require extra time, additional monies, or more training in order to implement. Depending on how important these tools are, this is the time to determine your plan of action.
- What do you consider the best route to take to see immediate results? Sometimes the best way to depict a plan of this magnitude is to refer back to those who have already used your services or bought your products. Ask your existing clientele how they found out about you. Knowing this information tells you which tools to use most often.
- Now select only about 3 or 4 of the best marketing tools in which to concentrate most of your efforts. These are what I call your “Power Tools.” All of the other tools should be kept on a separate list. These will be called your “Seed Tools.” Seed Tools take longer to produce results and you don’t want to spend as much time or money on these, yet. Budget wise (which includes both – time and money), you should allocate about 75% of your budget to your Power Tools and only about 25% to your Seed Tools.
After completing your marketing plan, keep a copy in sight at all times. You might want to keep it in your organizer, hang a copy on the wall in your office, or even make a scrapbook with all your marketing materials inside.
Whichever way is successful for you… keep on doing what gets you the best results. And, be sure to measure each time you implement a step! Measuring is always key to knowing when (and how) something is working correctly or not!
Be sure to share with a friend and post your comments, too!
Carmen, “The Publicity Diva”
P.S. If developing your marketing strategy seems too overwhelming or time-consuming, I would love to help you out. Just give me a call or send me an email and let’s make it happen today!