5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs A Marketing Plan
You started a small business and you think you have all the ropes tied...then something hits you, no customers or sales. Now what?
You'll have to create a durable and realistic marketing plan that will guide you through the process of presenting your product or services to your potential customers. As we all know, if you are a small business owner - you are constantly in need of leads and the only way to achieve this goal is by marketing your business strategically and running ads where it matters.
So if its that simple, why are so many small businesses unable to create a working digital marketing plan and strategy that can increase growth? The answer is also simple - marketing takes time.
Business owners like you, have the expertise in their products or services - but in most cases they are unable to develop the skills, strategy and expertise necessary to push their products or services to be visibility in the marketplace.
The key to solving this problem is by using a strategic approach compared to most Small to Mid-size Businesses, whose marketing efforts are the result of "lets through everything out there, hope and see what sticks"! This is like chasing ghosts, hoping one day you'll see them.
Most small marketing combinations look like a broken collection of methods and tools, with no sense of what actually works because there is no tracking ability. Without tracking you are simple spinning the wheel of fortune with no concrete answer. If something goes terribly wrong, it's difficult to pin point what to improve or what to eliminate as a marketing strategy.
If you want to grow, there is no other way to get there than focusing on what works and refining your strategy along the way. So how can you get your small business digital marketing efforts on track?
You will need to start today, develop a digital marketing plan for success following these simple principles:
1. The Marketing Plan Should Be Your Guide
Your digital marketing plan is your small business blueprint to success and growth. It will help you and your team stay on track and move in the same direction to build a profitable business. How should you guide look like, once it has been developed?
Businesses have different objectives, customers and specifics that must be included in their plan. But there are also some basic components that every actionable marketing plan should encompass.
What are the basic components that should be included:
- Target Audience: If you don't know your potential customers, you'll need to do some in-depth research on your market. Who are your best customers? Once you find your niche, you'll need to drill it down to demographics like; age, sex, geographic location, interest etc.
- Marketing objective and Goals: Your objective and goals should include what you want, and how to get there and the time you'll need to get there.
- Marketing Plan Strategies: Aligning your goals will lead you to your plan strategy. This is how you'll execute your marketing to a reach your goals.
- Business Analysis: What does your business do? How are your products or services unique in the market? What are your strengths and weaknesses relative to your competitors? These are all questions you need to answer.
- Budget: If your business growth is a priority, your marketing strategy must have a dedicated budget. This will be the total investment you're willing to commit and then make sure it's in line with your marketing strategy and goals.
2. A Marketing Plan Keeps You Focused On The Price
It can get very easy to lose sight of your goals in the digital world of marketing. With a digital marketing plan, the process becomes more focus and consistent. Your marketing plan will be your go to for reference and alignment with your tasks. You will have the ability to know what technologies to apply for better growth and what to eliminate as waste.
3. Helps To Structure Your Budget
You can market your business for free, but how will that play out in the long term when those options dry out? Well, you'll need to come up with a budget to get your business out to the masses. It's inevitable, but you'll need some type of marketing budget to make sense of your goals and aspirations for growth. Without a structured marketing budget, you can almost not compete in your space, improve your products or services or stay in business for the long term.
For you to grow your business - you will need a meaningful and reasonable digital marketing budget that can justify your growth and also propel you to profitability. This is simple, a small business with no marketing budget is inching towards failing.
4. Follow a traceable timeline
Staying on track in digital marketing is everything. If you are always in doubt on what to do, your digital marketing plan should save the day. With that said, your marketing plan is sought of a bible for your company. You'll need to follow your plan religiously in order to see results over time.
You'll also need to build systems that track your failures and progress along the way, so you can know what to fix and focus on. Your marketing plan should clearly state when you'll like to see certain key performance results, your goals, audience engagement, sales etc.
5. It measures Goals and Campaign success
Measuring digital marketing success can be easily set through goals. This is important to your marketing strategy as you include more methods to improve results. If you can't set goals that are measurable, how'd you be able to verify your marketing strategy ROI? Your marketing plan will identify what you are succeeding at and how it impacts your growth.
You might have heard from other inspiring small business owners on how they spend nothing on marketing and get results, but what they don't tell you is their strategy, how old they have been in business, the technologies they are using and the team they pay every month to do various task. This is all marketing and you'll need a budget to get the right approach to see the results you so crave.
The digital marketing plan doesn't have to be complicated, long, boring or take weeks to months to have one ready. All you need to do is seat down, research and think strategically on how to approach the industry based on your research.
If you'll like to learn more on how to get started with a formidable digital marketing plan and implementation, lets talk about your options!
Divine Tumenta is an entrepreneur and professional digital marketing expert based in Los Angeles. He has worked in digital marketing for more than 8 years. He is currently founder and CEO of Backlinkfy.com and a go to consultant for startups and small businesses in the USA.