After you’re done creating your business plan and branding plan, the most important and hardest step is still yet to come. Even though you have great products and a great brand, people aren’t going to buy from you unless they actually know about your business, right?
If they have no idea who you are, or what you do, there’s no chance of them availing of your business’s goods and/or services. This is why every business owner needs to have their very own marketing plan, which gets the word out about their business and encourages more people to buy.
Here’s my 5 step process:
1.) Know what your business needs – You’re going to need to know your business in order to figure out which marketing strategies to use. Are you a small business? Obviously, you’re not going to be able to afford expensive adverts like commercials and posters in high-density areas. Consider the side of your business, your budget, and manpower as well as what exactly it is you provide when considering your marketing outline. After all, jumping in too early might ruin your business instead of helping it.
2.) Figure out your target audience – Once again, you need to know who your target audience is. If you market more for the elderly population, you’re not going to focus on building up social media websites, right? For different groups and age demographics, there is a specific kind of marketing strategy and medium, which works best for them. Once you have decided on whom exactly your business is primarily catering to, only then will you be able to determine which advertising and marketing mediums to take advantage of.
3.) Decide on which mediums to use – Done determining your target audience? Now, decide on which platforms. You are going to use it in order to get the word out about yourself and your business. Will you be using social media? Do research on how much it takes to sponsor posts and tweets. Prefer newspaper ads and printed media? Make sure to note down the price and the number of individuals you’ll be able to reach.
4.) Study the competition and strategize – Doing all of this on your own, without any basis, is going to be difficult. That is why it is suggested you take note of your competition, especially the successful ones- how do they advertise? How do they get the word out? Study their marketing strategies and attempt to incorporate some of the successful ones into your own.
5.) Set a budget – Obviously, marketing isn’t free. If it was, then small businesses would be popping up everywhere like flies. Advertising is incredibly expensive, and marketing all of a sudden without a set budget just might put your business into bankruptcy. Take note of your expenses and budget before even attempting to pay for advertisements, and see if the shoe fits. If you aren’t able to afford the advertising you want, don’t worry- start from the bottom and then work your way up. Most businesses didn’t get to the way they are overnight, after all.