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Writing a Marketing Plan

Welcome to our blog where I give hints and tips on how to successfully market your business.

In my previous blogs I have talked about: Why Companies Should Market Themselves, Developing a Great Set of USP’s and researching the Competition. I’d now like to talk about putting together a Marketing Plan.

You can put together a Marketing Strategy but that is a fairly big document if it is done properly and if you haven’t done one before you will probably need help from a marketing expert. However, there is an alternative, it is a Marketing Plan which is a much smaller document and a quick guide to putting one together is as follows:

Almost all companies will need the very basics: a good company logo and basic identity which would consist of stationery, signage and a website (Websites are a big topic which I will deal with in another blog).

You will need to identify your target market and find out where they go to find a supplier like yourself. Is it the internet, a directory, local press perhaps or exhibitions? It is probably a mixture of several sources. Because you have already researched the competition and found out where they do their advertising (bearing in mind that they may or may not be advertising in the right places) you should now have a pretty good idea of which mediums to use.

Next, using the information above, draw up a list of activity that you think will get your name in front of your prospects in the most effective way, this may be:

  • Optimising your websites for certain key phrases
  • Attending carefully selected network meetings
  • Constructing a database and sending out a compelling direct mail piece
  • Advertising in the most effective trade journals
  • Attending an exhibition where you know your prospects will attend
  • Sending out email campaigns (this needs to be done properly, I will be dealing with this very important subject in another blog)

Then draw up a plan of which activity of what is going to happen when (a marketing calendar). You should have planned outcomes for the activity because marketing must show a good return on investment otherwise it is not worth doing.

The next thing is stick to the plan. So many companies start off with all the best intentions but then get busy and stop marketing – this leads to the peaks and troughs scenario. All big companies are marketing themselves all the time, usually by utilising a marketing plan or strategy.

Lastly monitor and review the activity on a regular basis, see which is working the best and either ditch the ones that aren’t working or change them so they do start working.

This is such a big subject of which I have only scratched the surface but hopefully it has given you food for thought.

I hope you have found this blog helpful, if you would like more information, please click here to contact us or call us on 01424 813412.