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					What is a Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan is a problem-solving                              Marketing Mistakes
                                                                   Most Businesses Make
document. It helps you establish, direct and
coordinate your marketing efforts. And
preparing one forces you to assess what's
going on in your marketplace and how it                        1   NOT MARKETING AT ALL. Too often, idealistic entrepreneurs do
affects your business. Often, just going
                                                                   everything to "set up shop" -- they buy a bunch of equipment,
through the process of preparing a marketing
                                                                   rent a space, obtain special certifications, install expensive
plan guides you in developing a successful
                                                                   software, etc -- and then they wait. And wait. And nothing
marketing strategy.
                                                                   happens. Every successful business has one thing in common --
                                                                   customers. And businesses get customers through marketing.
Typical components include:
Executive Summary                                              2   NO WRITTEN PLAN. Without a marketing plan, even a simple
Introduce your company and explain the
                                                                   one, your efforts will be haphazard and sporadic. A written plan
major points of your plan by briefly describing
                                                                   helps you look at things from a long-term perspective - like your
the nature of your business and your products
                                                                   budget, target markets, strategic messages, and your
or services. Include a mission statement or
                                                                   competitors.
company objectives and list your management
team.
                                                                   Don't worry about the form or format - it's the process that
                                                                   counts. The simple act of sitting down to write a plan will help
Current Situation
                                                                   you clarify your goals and develop strategies to get there.
Provide information about your location,
target market and competitive environment.                     3   LACK OF COMMITMENT. A serious long-term commitment to
                                                                   marketing is absolutely essential. Too often, businesses will try
Competitor Analysis
                                                                   something once (one mailing, one trade show, one newsletter,
Detail other individuals or companies who
                                                                   one ad, etc) and call it a failure.
offer similar products and services, as well as,
key    business      issues    that     are    potential
                                                                   When choosing how to market your business, make sure you
challenges, such as new legislation or the
                                                                   select methods that you can realistically commit to for at least
impact of an impending technology.
                                                                   six months or a year at a time. If you can only afford to do
                                                                   something once, save your money and do something else.
Marketing Objectives
State your objectives, such as increasing the
                                                                   Marketing is hard work. It takes repetition and consistency.
awareness of your product or service among
your target audience. Also include the time                    4   UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. Every day, small business owners
frame for achieving your goals.
                                                                   expect their marketing efforts to produce unrealistic results.
                                                                   When selecting marketing methods, do some research, talk to
Marketing Strategy
                                                                   other small business owners, and set realistic benchmarks. Then
This is the heart of your plan and covers:
                                                                   stick with the plan. Remember mistakes 2 and 3?
Product: Include product or service features and benefits.
Price: Describe your pricing strategy and payment policies.
Promotion: Identify your tools and how you'll use them.
Place: How your customers will have access to you.



                  Sinsational Media                           919 : 395 : 7457                       www.sinsationalmedia.com
What is a Marketing Plan?
(continued)                                             Marketing Mistakes
Action Programs
                                                        (continued)
Your marketing "to do" list, complete with
detailed tasks, completion dates, and who's
responsible for them.
                                                    5   LACK OF MEASUREMENT. Every dollar counts, that's why you
                                                        need to ask every prospect, "How did you hear about us?" and
Budget
                                                        then track that data. Using that data you will be able to
List the cost of the marketing activities you've
                                                        eliminate any marketing that's not pulling it's weight.
described elsewhere in your plan.
                                                        Don't base your marketing decisions on fear or a hunch. Track
Measurements
                                                        everything. Repeat what works. Eliminate what doesn't.
Include numerical targets that will measure
the results of implementing your plan. Include
                                                    6   NO DATABASE. For business-to-business and professional service
time limits for achieving goals.
                                                        companies, a prospect database is essential. A good contact
                                                        management database will help you organize, automate and
Supporting Documents
                                                        streamline so many marketing tasks. It will also keep good,
Include any supporting documents referenced
                                                        qualified prospects from "falling through the cracks."
in other plan sections here, such as resumes
of key management resumes, spreadsheets,
market research results, etc.



Things to remember:
Written plans display strengths, as well as,
weaknesses.

The process of putting it in writing helps to
formulate a strategy.


Written plans are not easily forgotten,
overlooked, or ignored.


Written plans are easier to communicate to
others and are less likely to be
misunderstood.


Written plans allocate responsibilities and
provide benchmarks for measuring results.




               Sinsational Media                   919 : 395 : 7457                     www.sinsationalmedia.com