It’s undeniable that creating your first marketing plan for your small business is daunting; this process tests all of your business plans, goals, objectives and ability to understand the market of your industry. However, despite the difficulty, your marketing plan is the backbone of your advertising and continual promotion of your business, and most business market professionals admonish those who neglect this critical essential. In this article, we share with you what you need to do to start your marketing planning, outlining the necessary research and knowledge to get your small business marketing off the ground.
Start by learning marketing terminology
Every industry is full of jargon that is complex and specific, and marketing is no exception. Marketing, especially, utilises a varying range of acronyms and abbreviations, all the while continually adding new terms as technology and marketing methods advance. Unless you have a business or marketing degree, one that is recent and includes all of the latest developments in digital marketing, you will need to spend some time researching marketing fundamentals and the corresponding terminology. This will involve extensive reading in marketing related blogs, articles, industry journals and online courses. Completing your marketing plan will test your knowledge; your marketing plan will ask you to reference and explain these concepts in detail.
Understand your competition
Some business owners and marketing experts recommend you turn a blind eye to what your competition is doing, or shift your focus away from your competitors altogether. However, rival businesses are an example to follow; they’re your guide of what to do, and not to do, as they’ve experienced the ups and downs of trial and error, and are still surviving to tell the tale. When small businesses consider their marketing, many owners believe their competition doesn’t exist, ignoring the larger established companies that pose genuine threats. Knowing who you are competing with shouldn’t be overlooked, as these businesses help mould who you market to, what strategies work, and where marketing to these customers needs improving in your industry.
Know exactly who you’re selling to
It’s impossible to develop an effective small business marketing plan without your customer profile. Your marketing plan will address who your customer is; every useful digital marketing strategy addresses the ideal customer’s age, location and gender, as well as their purchasing decisions, and why they will need the product or service. Your customer profile is integral to every marketing decision you make, as well as product development, so exercising careful research is essential. If you’re unsure who’s your customer, and you’re finding it impossible to create a buyer profile, it’s necessary to understand why this is happening. It may be that you need to address your marketing terminology and concepts, re-evaluate your competition or better conduct market research about your product or service.
Reach out to professionals
If you want to run a successful small business, you’ll likely need to invest in professional marketing. It’s impossible to be across every concept of marketing, digital marketing trends, search engine optimisation, or product delivery. With support, you will eliminate much of the dreaded trial and error time you will likely spend figuring how to self-market, save on unnecessary marketing endeavours, and be able to focus your attention on other research and development.