A marketing plan is hugely important in both starting up a business and progressing as an established business. One of the steps in creating a business plan is to create a marketing strategy specifically for your business, which is designed to get customers through the door or clients on the phone. As a result many businesses success is very closely tied with their marketing. How many huge businesses can you name because of their marketing? Without using marketing a business could easily lose customers to their competitors simply because the public have heard of the other business.
When creating your marketing plan you should think about what you want to let the public know with any marketing you do. For example; some businesses specifically want to promote their high-quality products or services, others focus on customer service, low prices etc. Your business plan should already contain your corporate mission, or mission statement, which can be used to determine your best selling points which you can then use to design your marketing – if your mission statement is to provide high-quality products or provide good customer service etc. then you should focus on that area of your business when promoting your business to the public. For more detail, aims and objectives can be used to identify which specific parts of the business should be focused on at any time – an objective to improve sales would suggest that a marketing plan of promoting products specifically would be most beneficial, whereas with a different objective, such as improving customer service, the same marketing focus wouldn’t be as useful.
An often overlooked element of a marketing plan is how you will be retaining customers already using your business. If you can encourage existing customers to continue using your business and potentially entice them to spend more then your work is already done for maintaining a somewhat steady income. Depending on the nature of your business this can be incredibly difficult or simply a matter of staying the same. However, most business types benefit from one of a few tried and tested retention strategies; such as loyalty cards/points, regular newsletters, and smaller businesses can offer a very personal touch to their products and services.
Pricing may not be strictly related to a marketing plan however it can greatly effect how it performs and effects a business. The value of products and services can be summed up in an average or set of average figures for a typical customer transaction, if a businesses competitor has a higher average sale then over time they will be able to dedicate more resources towards marketing and thus ultimately outperform their competitors. As a direct result it can be beneficial to change prices to better attract customers, think about why special offers are so commonly used by businesses.
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