Welcome to the final edition of our Marketing series. Over these past months, we’ve dedicated each newsletter to one component of a Marketing Plan, and how you can do the research and strategizing needed to develop a plan for your company. In this last installment, we’ll summarize some highlights and provide links to the related article for each component.
The most common theme throughout the development of a Marketing Plan is knowing everything you can dig up about your customers. That information helps you think the way they think, so you can meet their expectations in every facet of your business operations.
In the article Your Products, Services, and Target Markets we provided a worksheet to get you started, with a particular focus on matching what you have to sell with customers who want buy.
The next article was about Brand Management and used the analogy that the brand of your company has the same meaning to consumers that your character or personality has to your family and friends. Managing your brand means consumers are interacting with the same “character” at all touch points.
Then, we talked about Reputation Management and ensuring that your brand’s reputation is considered in all policies and procedures, and that all staff know what to do and how to maintain and promote your good name.
We offered three main strategies for maintaining good Customer Relations;
- Helping customers make the right purchase;
- Exceeding (or at least meeting) their expectations; and,
- Following up in a friendly manner.
View your customers as friends. That means listening as well as talking, being fair, staying in touch, living up to your good reputation, and not taking advantage.
In the article Public Relations we gave some examples of ways that your company could demonstrate that you care about more than just profits. Good PR is pro-active and consistent, not something you only think about in a crisis.
In March, we talked about Marketing Strategy - setting well-researched and considered objectives that support your business goals; setting a feasible budget with the mindset that it is an investment; and devising tactics premised on the characteristics of your target market segments.
Last month, we focused on the three objectives for Effective Advertising:
- Getting the ad in front of your target market;
- Garnering the attention of your target market; and,
- Making a persuasive call to action.
We also stressed that ads only start the sales process, and that you need a great e-commerce website or top notch sales team to actually bring in the money.
So there you have it! The seven major components of a Marketing Plan. If you don’t have time to develop a plan yourself, we can help.