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Step 1: Take a snapshot of your company’s current situation.

These will be words that came up time and time again in your focus groups. They should evoke a feeling and an ability to envision your product or service in use. These words become the cornerstones of your brand. Once you have them, you have officially uncovered your Brand DNA. Now that you completed the foundation for your brand, it is time to dig into the execution details.

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The budget and allocation step of the marketing planning process is a big one. It is time you are taking away from enhancing your products or providing your services. The fact is, getting your message out there takes a budget. If that number feels high, consider this survey on marketing spending from McKinsey, the American Marketing Association and Duke University that says the industry average is 8.

Once you have a budget on paper, the fun begins.

How to Create a Marketing Plan

There are seemingly endless ways to spend your time and money:. It is crucial that your KPIs include measurable goals. Distinct KPIs will help you determine the marketing avenues that make the most sense for your business. Note that in some cases, your target market might eliminate certain areas for you.

In this case, the messaging would be different on each platform you are marketing. After extensive research, the community determined that competitors are earning the bulk of their business from realtor referrals, online searches and in some cases, at events like Community Trade Shows. With this information, allocation of the budget for your strategic marketing plan process becomes easy! Investing the time up front ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.

It also helps you from creating assets that might:. While some might consider creation something that happens after a plan, the marketing planning process includes everything prior to execution. The fact that TV ads no longer require companies to run them nationwide is huge.

It opened up this medium for many small and medium sized companies. Print ads can be found in a wide variety of publications. From the local newspaper to a nationally circulated magazine, the options are nearly endless. Because the success of print is difficult to measure, creating assets that include clear CTAs and offers is the best way to go. This will allow you to easily count the number of redemptions and compare it against the cost to place the ad. You can get some idea on specific activities by browsing lists of small business marketing ideas. Complete this step at the same time as the next step since your budget affects the activities you can include.

As you outline a promotional plan, you need to have a budget in place so that you know which activities you can afford. You may have an annual marketing budget, but you should also break it down into separate monthly budgets so that you can track results and modify the promotional plan to focus on the activities that provide you with the biggest return on investment. A marketing budget template from Entrepreneur. Outlining exactly what you need to do and when is an important part of your marketing plan.

Your action steps help you stay on track so that you can make consistent progress without having to re-create the wheel every time you're ready to take a step. To formulate your marketing plan action list, follow the same process for managing your daily tasks: take the end goal, and break it down into a series of single-step tasks that lead you to achieving your desired result. For example, if one of the activities outlined in your promotional plan is launching a direct mail campaign, your first few action steps may look like this:.

Your action list can take a number of different forms, as long as it's created in a way that supports progress. Each action item should also include a due date that works with the timeline you created for your marketing plan. Typically, the smaller the steps, the easier it will be for you to complete tasks and build momentum. All of this work you've put into creating a marketing plan for your small business will be rendered useless if you can't track and measure the results.

This step allows you to take your marketing plan from a one-time, static document and turn it into a plan that grows and develops with your business. The way you track and measure your results depends on your particular type of marketing tactics. For example, online marketing can be tracked using analytics and other internet-based metrics, while tracking offline marketing methods requires a more manual approach. By measuring your results, you will become much better at tailoring your marketing activities to focus on the areas where you will have the most success.

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  1. Prospecting and Partnerships?
  2. In Chariots Of Iron;
  3. Easy Simple Plan for Entrepreneurs to Create a Marketing Plan for a Small Business;

Becoming an Owner Small Business. By Alyssa Gregory. Take time to conduct market research so that you can identify: Who makes up your target audience Where you can find them What they value as important What they are worried about What they need right now Create a sketch of the person or business; you would consider your ideal customer. Your promotional plan should combine a variety of marketing activities and may include: Advertising Packaging Public relations Direct sales Internet marketing Sales promotions Marketing materials Other publicity efforts Don't want to start with too many variations in your promotional plan.

To formulate your marketing plan action list, follow the same process for managing your daily tasks: take the end goal, and break it down into a series of single-step tasks that lead you to achieving your desired result For example, if one of the activities outlined in your promotional plan is launching a direct mail campaign, your first few action steps may look like this: Determine your budget for the campaign.

A good marketing program targets prospects at all stages of your sales cycle. Some marketing tactics, such as many forms of advertising, public relations and direct marketing, are great for reaching cold prospects. Warm prospects -- those who've previously been exposed to your marketing message and perhaps even met you personally -- will respond best to permission-based email, loyalty programs and customer appreciation events, among others. Generally, interpersonal sales contact whether in person, by phone, or email combined with marketing adds the final heat necessary to close sales.

For example, you might combine outdoor billboards, print advertising and online local searches to reach cold prospects but use email to contact your warm prospects. To identify your ideal marketing mix, find out which media your target audience turns to for information on the type of product or service you sell.

Avoid broad-based media -- even if it attracts your target audience -- if the content isn't relevant.

Of course, when starting a business, this may mean using newly acquired funding, borrowing or self-financing. Just bear this in mind -- marketing is absolutely essential to the success of your business.

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What Is A Marketing Plan and How to Make One (20+ Marketing Plan Templates)

Revoke Consent Submit Consent. Starting a Business. This five-step plan in will help you draw in and keep customers. Start Slideshow. The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. Entrepreneur Staff. February 6, 7 min read.

Determine marketing strategy objectives

Next Slide. If you need help with creating your goals, here is a primer to get you thinking: Specificity. You have a better chance of achieving a goal if it's specific. Be positive when you set your goals.