When it comes to marketing, every business has their own approach. Some businessowners stick to a consistent, year-round plan, others may take the time to create a plan (or engage someone to create one for them) but never fully execute on it, and some just never have a solid marketing plan in place.
There are multiple reasons why businessowners don’t follow-through on consistent marketing. Maybe their plan is too ambitious or doesn’t align with their available resources, or they don’t have anyone on staff with the needed marketing ability. But perhaps the most common scenario we see is that many businessowners don’t feel a sense of urgency to implement marketing while business is good. Instead, they deploy inconsistent marketing when business starts to slow down – putting little priority on nurturing a steady stream of messaging and communication with their target audience.
While inconsistent marketing is one way to do things, it’s certainly not the most effective way, nor is it the most profitable. You can generate far more business if your marketing is deliberate and consistent. It’s also important to note that we will likely see new perspectives and philosophies around marketing as we move further into a dramatic change in the economy.
Here are 6 tips for creating an effective business marketing plan:
1. Identify & Understand Where You Are
What’s the true financial picture for your business – who do you primarily work with, and where does your revenue come from? You want to determine where you currently get most of your business (whether it’s through referrals from existing customers, networking events, social media or somewhere else) and develop a clear picture of what’s working. This will also help you determine untapped areas that might be worth targeting.
2. Set A Marketing Goal
For any marketing plan to work, you need to have a clear goal. Perhaps you’re looking for more financial stability and less of a feast-or-famine revenue model, or maybe you’re interested in reaching a different market, since the type of insurance you specialize in has changed. In many cases, businessowners are simply looking for a way to market that’s less work-intensive – but a strong marketing plan is a lot of work. Whatever your goals are, it’s essential to identify what you want to get out of a marketing strategy.
3. What Obstacles Are in the Way?
If it were easy, you probably would have already done it. What challenges are standing in the way of achieving your goal? Consider factors such as the current economy and industry trends, market realities, regulatory developments, competitors in the area you’re looking to expand into, and your own limitations in terms of time and resources.
4. Evaluate the Competition
Your competitors can have a profound effect on your marketing strategy. In the area you’re looking to expand into, consider who the major players are. How do they market themselves and what language do they use to speak to their audience? Does there seem to be an audience in this space that is underserved by your current competitors? Look for a way to fill that gap with your messaging and services.
5. Evaluate Your Current Brand & Messaging
What is your brand currently conveying to your audience, and how does it need to be adjusted? Determine if your messaging aligns with your marketing goals and decide where you want to take your business next. From there, you can adjust messaging to complement your goals.
6. Allocate Resources to Execute
Finally, allocate available resources to make your marketing plan happen. By determining how much money and time you can dedicate to your marketing, you can set a consistent plan in motion that fits into your existing business.
It’s not always easy to execute even the most perfectly thought-out marketing plan – but it gets easier with proper planning and preparation. Follow these steps, and hopefully you’ll be much better positioned to follow-through.
Have questions? We have answers. Reach out to Brad Nevins at email@example.com or call 707-759-5391.
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