Have you ever sat down to write a marketing plan and your mind goes as blank as the white sheet of paper sitting in front of you? In this article you’ll learn how write an effective marketing plan that’s simple to create and that will get you results.
The secret to creating a fast and effective marketing plan is to break it down into bite size chunks by creating what I call mini-marketing plans. By that I mean, brief, action-oriented mini-plans in each of the areas of your marketing. Here’s how to do it…
Get out a blank sheet of paper. Now write down the left side of the paper these categories of activities. Make sure you leave about 10 spaces between each one. Ready? Here goes…
1. Publicity Marketing Plan – In this plan you’re going to write down the activities you’ll do to spread the word about you and your business through the media. This includes pitching stories to the press and writing press releases on a consistent basis.
2. Promotional Event Plan – The promotional event plan includes different promotional activities such as, having sales if you’re a retailer, or sponsoring contests, awards, or events.
3. Joint Venture Marketing Plan- Your joint venture plan includes things you can do with other businesses to promote your business. For instance, I have a good friend that sells burial plans and has teamed up with the VFW to market to their membership. That’s a joint venture.
4. Referral Marketing Plan - Every small business should have a referral marketing plan seeing as how it’s the most popular way for small businesses to get new customers. Your referral marketing plan will include specific referral programs that you plan to roll out this next year.
5. Internet Marketing Plan - Every small business should be on the web and actively engaged in promoting their products and services on the web.
6. Advertising Plan - Not every small business advertises but most do, so you should plan where you’re going to advertise and how much advertising you’ll be doing.
7. Customer Marketing Plan - A customer marketing plan helps you think about how you’re going to keep in touch with your customers and what types of targeted offers you’ll be making to them.
Now, these aren’t the only mini-marketing plans you should be thinking about. You service providers will probably have a networking plan, public speaking marketing plan, or a volunteer charity or association involvement plan. The idea I’m trying to get across is to break down your overall marketing plan into bite sized mini-plans that help you to crystallize what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Now that you have the titles to these mini-plans all you have to do is start filling in the holes. You see, this method helps you think in terms of marketing activities and the goals you need to set for yourself. Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to motivate you to do something. After all, how good is a plan if you don’t put it to use.
© Copyright 2003 David Frey, Marketing Best Practices Inc.