While your business plan includes a section that focuses on how you are planning to market your company and products, it is most likely is giving a high-level view of the company rather than going into operational detail about all the functions within the company.
An in-depth marketing plan that goes beyond the marketing section of your business plan should detail how you will perform tactical marketing activities that are strategic to your business. Spending time on your marketing plan will reap the following benefits:
- Keep the overall strategy in view
- Focus on the customer needs
- Clarify messaging
- Detail the tactical activities that build brand awareness
- Identify additional marketing opportunities
There are many marketing plan templates available online. The key points that you will be focusing on in your marketing plan are:
- Your messaging: What do you want to communicate about your products.
- A competitive analysis: Taking a look at the competitive landscape allows you to assess your market.
- Identifying opportunities, both constant and seasonal: Allows you to focus your marketing efforts to reap the most rewards.
- Value that your product has for the customer: It is an important distinction that marketing efforts should be focused on the customers’ needs in order to be successful.
- How you are going to communicate this value: What tools are you going to use? Printed cards, mailers, email marketing, social media, etc…
- Measuring how well your marketing campaigns are doing: Define success. Put a number on it. Set your sights and your goals.
Taking the time to create a marketing plan will ensure that you stay on target; within a short time, you will see results.
Monique Hodgkinson is a member of the HSMG’s Social Media Committee. She has been a member of the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild for five years. When not making soap, Monique spends her time as a marketing consultant serving small and medium sized businesses.