Marketing Plan Worksheet

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Make sure your marketing efforts are productive. Use this marketing plan worksheet to plan your marketing strategy whether you're a startup or existing business. It will help you know who your customers are and make your marketing efforts more successful.


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Whether you're starting a new business, are launching a new product, or want to bring in more business customers for your existing small business, the key to success is knowing who is most likely to buy what you sell and what the best ways are to reach those potential customers.  

If you start marketing without that knowledge, you'll waste time and money running ads, going to networking events, or sending mailings  that get poor results - or sometimes bring in no customers at all. 

Don't let that happen to you. You can improve your chance for success by researching your market before you start a small business or launch a new marketing campaign.  Doing the research is as important for long-time business owners as it is for startups. The reason? Markets, customer expectations, and the ways to reach likely customers have changed significantly in recent years.

Use the marketing  plan worksheet below to help you determine who is most likely to buy your your goods and services today and what it will take to reach them. 

Marketing Plan Worksheet

Business Name ___________________________________


Your Products and Services
_________________ _______________ _________________________
_________________ _______________ _________________________
_________________ _______________ _________________________


Describe the types of individuals or businesses you expect to use these services. Include age, gender, income, and other important demographics.
_________________ _______________ _________________________
_________________ _______________ _________________________
_________________ _______________ _________________________


Indicate when and how often they might need your services. If you aren't sure,
ask potential clients and/or existing customers to tell you when they would use what you sell or why they use it now. For existing businesses, also ask customers if there's anything about your products or services they'd like to see changed.
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________


Describe the benefits your products and services will offer customers (the SPECIFIC problems the product solves or SPECIFIC advantages it offers to the customer)
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________


How many other services like yours are in your area?
_______________________________________________________________
 


How will your service differ from your competitors? 
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________



 

What's your primary competitive edge? What makes you different from (and better than) your competitors? (I.e., industry knowledge, years of experience, customer support, etc.) 

_______________________________________________________________


How are you planning to find customers ? 
(Check all that apply)

______Email
______Social media posting
______Social media advertising
______Posting videos on YouTube
______Ads on search engines
______Banner ads or links on websites
______Guest posting on websites
______Using affiliates to promote your products
______Search engine optimization
______Text messaging 
______In-App advertising
______Direct mail  
______Print Classified ads
______Paid display advertising in newspapers or magazines
______Radio advertising
______TV advertising
______Ads on side of your truck
______Door-to-door canvasing
______Cold-call telephone calls
______An ad in the Yellow Pages
______Off-line word-of-mouth advertising
______Network at business meetings
______Giving speeches and seminars
______Window signs to attract walk-in trade
______In-store displays to sell add-on services
______Exhibiting at trade shows
______Responding to RFPs
______Getting on the GSA schedule 
______Other (specify)
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________


How do people hear about this product or service now?
(Don't guess! Go out and ask potential customers)

______Through the mail
______Through the email
______Through the social networks
______By watching online videos or slide shows
______By using online search engines
______By asking their smart phones a question
______By using their smart phone "find nearby" function
______Through other online ads
______Through telemarketers
______Through print ads they see in newspapers, shoppers or magazines
______In the Yellow Pages
______At trade shows______Through radio or TV ads
______Listening to talk shows
______Through contacts and networking
______By listening to speakers at conferences and seminars
______By attending trade shows
______Through window signs to attract walk-in trade
______Through In-store displays
______Through a bidding process
______Through the GSA schedule
______Through online classified advertising
______Through their diversity outreach division or website______On Internet Web sites
______Through banner ads on the Internet
______Other (specify)
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________


Who makes the buying decisions-- a consumer, the actual business user, the purchasing 
department, department head, other?
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________


How much money have you allowed for marketing?

_______________________________________________________________


What will it cost you to use each of these marketing methods?

______Email delivery service charges
______Mailings (postage, mailing lists, printed materials, paper & toner, staff time, etc.) 
______Broadcast  (radio, tv) advertising costs
______In-person sales calls (include gas money)
______Staff time or cost of outsourced help for social media networking
______Video production costs
______Photography and artwork cost 
______Publicity costs

______Phone calls (including staff time)
______Online advertising
______Print classified ads
______Print display ads
______Yellow Pages
______Network at business meetings (include cost of  meetings, if any)
______Window signs to attract walk-in trade
______In-store displays to sell add-on services
______Bidding on jobs
______Other (specify)


Compare your expected methods of finding customers and costs with the ways potential customers have indicated they are most like to look for this type of service. Then decide what steps you need to take to get customers to buy from you. List them below and set target dates for accomplishing each. 

Action Item Start Follow-up Estimated Actual Results
                  Date  Date        Cost        Cost 
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______
_________  ___  _______   ______   ______ _______



Copyright 2016 Attard Communications, Inc

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About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning  Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Janet on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JanetAttard.

 
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