Marketing Business Plan – Marketing Ideas For Small Business

We have all heard of business plans and their importance when starting a business. How many of us have considered a Marketing Business Plan? The latter is just as important as a business plan and can be incorporated into the original plan. However, I think that the Marketing Business Plan is so important to a start up business that it must be considered separately and distinctly from the regular business plan. Many times I am called into consult with an existing small business to learn that business in most ways has overlooked the Marketing Business Plan and the direction it can give the owners and sales people. I am often asked for marketing plan examples to go by but a marketing plan for a business is like a finger print. It has specific characteristics that only that business has. I once had a business that did very well. I grew the company and then decided to sell it. The new owner came in demanded that the company run his way or the highway. He would not follow the marketing plan for the business that made it successful. He eventually ran the business in the ground.

There are many questions you must ask yourself before creating a marketing business plan. This article will deal with two important questions. These questions will help you define your business for yourself and will define your business for your customers as well. There are certainly more questions to delve into when creating a Marketing Business Plan but for right now we will deal with just two.

Questions 1: Who are your customers?

I know this sounds to some silly, but many businesses lose there way and spend a lot of money advertising to the wrong customer base. Define the age group, the business sector they are in, area of town or locations they exist, male, female, family, social status, income.levels, interests. I usually have a brain storming session with my client to determine the depth and level of identity for their customer group. KNOW WHO THEY ARE! If you know this information, then you will be able to focus your marketing towards this group and get the biggest bang for you buck.

Question 2: How does your product or service meet the customer’s need?

It is amazing how often we try to push a product or service off on a person who does not have a need for it. A good marketing and/or sales person will always link a need to the customer. If you can do this, the battle is half way over. Perception is everything. If you can get your customer base to perceive a need for your product or service, you will be successful.

Both questions above can be answered by customer surveys. The customers that you are currently selling to will give you insight into what demographics they fall into and more importantly tell you why they bought your product or service. I have found that customers are more than happy to share with you information and help you if you ask.