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!

4 Reasons Why an Internet Marketing Plan Can Help Any Business

For those who wonder whether or not their business is a “fit” for Internet marketing or whether they think their marketing dollars would be better put to use elsewhere, I encourage them to take a serious look at aspects of Internet marketing. For active businesses that are not currently incorporating a significant portion of their efforts to generate new customers online with a comprehensive Internet marketing plan, they are missing out on something that could take their business to a whole new level.

For new businesses, an Internet Marketing plan can be just as helpful, if not more so. Let’s go into each of the following four major reasons in a little more detail:

  1. Access to target market
  2. Speed
  3. Low cost
  4. Measurable results

Access to Target Market

Many business owners think that their customers aren’t searching the Internet for their type of product or service. Well I’ve got good news for them…there are. Lots of them. And for all types of products and services imaginable.

Is anybody searching for the term ukulele (since I have a ukulele store, of course)?

Yep, 24,700 per day (Google only)!

How about cat sitting? Does that seem like something that nobody is looking for? Well, they are…

4,500 per day (Google only)!

Small businesses have access to their target market through the Internet. Either at a national level or local if that is more applicable. It is sure a lot easier to sell to people that are actively looking for your stuff than to try to convince somebody that they should want your stuff, don’t you think?

Speed

The Internet allows us to receive instant feedback from around the world on our ideas. That fact is still absolutely amazing to me. Post a comment on a blog site, post a topical video or article, or create a pay-per-click advertisement for a search engine and see how others view this in minutes! Now let’s think about how a product might be typically marketed:

  • Define audience and offer
  • Write copy
  • Purchase advertising space or produce direct mailing
  • Wait weeks for any meaningful results

…and what if the results aren’t good? Much time and money has likely been spent producing this marketing campaign, but many things could have been wrong with it. Wrong audience, wrong copy, wrong offer…

For small businesses, this failed attempt at a marketing campaign (that we likely had high hopes for) has left us maybe even a bit sour on marketing in general for our business.

On the other hand, with Internet marketing, we can accomplish the following in a single day:

  • Find the people that are searching for our exact product or service
  • Place an ad directed to those people only
  • Get feedback on the effectiveness of that ad

Different versions of the ad can be running at the same time and provide critical info about what works and what doesn’t.

Low Cost

The thought of low cost might surprise business owners that have put money into Internet marketing and seen that money disappear more quickly than if they were to feed it into a shredder. This has happened to a great many of us.

But, the cost of designing and hosting websites is lower than ever. Or at least it should be if you utilize the tools at our disposal today. The problem is how to get actual traffic to the site. Most business owners are familiar with the paid type of traffic, using a mechanism like Google Adwords. The squandering of marketing dollars with Google AdWords is a common occurrence. If not done properly it can be a very costly lesson. This is not to say that AdWords can not be an outstanding tool for businesses, but it needs to be done very carefully and many have failed in getting an actual profit from their efforts with Adwords.

But get this…there is an even more effective way to get those Google searchers to your site. A phenomenon has occurred in search.

I’ll provide some background first…People searching the Internet are far less frequently clicking on the paid sponsored advertising. Do you know that the top search result that is not paid for (otherwise known as organic) gets 35-40% of the clicks?!

This is compared to typically only 0.2-1% for the top paid result.

These organic results can send a huge number of people searching for your product or service to your site- for free! A properly planned and executed search engine optimization (SEO) plan can get small businesses that traffic at a very low overall cost (the cost equates to the effort required to execute SEO plan).

Measurable Results

How does a business really know the return on its marketing dollars? If a business often chalks its results up to “branding”, it likely means pitiful actual results.

Actual results meaning: active leads; customers; and revenue.

Although there are plenty of ways to blow your marketing dollars on the Internet with branding activities, small businesses will avoid these like the plague. Instead, they should focus on measureable activities. We can see each and every time somebody clicks on a link that brings them to our website, and then get the statistics on how many of those visitors took us up on our offer (whatever our most desired result for them is). The information available from Internet marketing is pure gold and these measured results show us where to focus our attention in future marketing campaigns and what needs to be changed and tested.

If a business incorporates a results-oriented Internet marketing plan into their next business plan, the results might just be amazing.

Small Business Internet Marketing and SEO

In today’s competitive environment, Internet marketing and SEO for small business is one of the fastest growing marketing/advertising techniques, used to meet the goals of your online business. Fine-tuning your small business site helps your site rank high in search engine results. Thus promoting your business website through Internet marketing improves the effectiveness of your website and makes your site more visible.

Internet marketing has two parts – social marketing and search marketing. SEO is an integral part of search marketing as it makes your business site more visible on search engines. A high search engine ranking enables your small business reach the ultimate goal by accessing new customers and markets.

Professional Internet marketing and search engine optimization companies offer result oriented website optimization and Internet marketing solutions to small businesses of all types. To do ethical search engine optimization service, Internet marketing companies make use of the best Internet marketing and SEO tools including keyword research tool, keyword ranking tool, website page rank checker, website evaluation tool, back links builder and dead links checker. With a strategic Internet marketing plan, Internet marketers design and develop a website that is search engine friendly.

The small business Internet marketing and SEO services aim at making your businesses more competitive on the web by optimizing your website for most popular and relevant keyphrases/keywords that target your business, be it new or established. The services involve various procedures such as website evaluation, keyword discovery and research, keyword density, website content development and management, website optimization, sitemap creation, creation of themed link pages/directory, development of Meta tag, Alt tag, title tag, keyword tag and description tag, choosing effective web page title, anchor text linking, link analysis, HTML modifications, image and hyperlink optimization, submission to search engines and directories, code streamlining and social bookmarking – all aimed at increasing the business for a website. While optimizing your business sites, it is ideal to use quality links from topic specific sites, authority sites and content related pages.

High search engine ranking draws many new and existing visitors and converts them into leads and sales. The main aim of small business Internet marketing and SEO service is to achieve marketing goals such as:

o Maximize your web presence

o Expand your small business

o Revitalize your brand

o Long term positioning

When you need Internet marketing and search engine optimization solution, run a search on the Internet to choose a high quality provider that suits your budget and time.