Because people don’t understand marketing they feel by getting a website, SEO, banner adverts it will do the job for them. After 10 years of practice and my experience it helps to put together a marketing plan so you can understand the market that you operate in and the type of customers you are looking for and the best way to find them.
Its a common mistake to look at what medium (on-line media, traditional media) first rather then understanding your customer and what they need, how best to reach them? what type of message do you want to give? being an on-line business does not mean that you should not use traditional media. I have found that a mixture of the two derives the best results and gives you more for your pound.
Weather you are a new business or an established business i have found that the following approach works best in preparation of a marketing plan. It is called SOSTAC ( SOSTAC® is a registered trade mark of PR Smith. More information at www.prsmith.org.) which stands for Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action, Control this is an integrated approach to planning. The plan asks specific questions
1. where are you now? (Situation)
2. where do you want to go? (Objectives)
3. How are you going to get there? (Strategy)
4. How are you going to get there (Tactics)
5. How are you going to get the plan to work? (Action)
6. How are you going to ensure arrival? (Control)
This will assist you in developing an appropriate plan but will also allow you to take into consideration the whole organisation, your financial situation, legal etc. This is quite a comprehensive tool and can be used for small or large marketing organisation. I have included a number of resources which should assist you.
Everything is an assumption unless you have a clear plan of action and clear understanding of your customers and market. Once that is done it will be clear for you as to what is the best way to target those markets. You will be surprised as to what you find out and what you see once you have undertaken this process.
Today there is plethora of activities you can undertake especially on line with the emergence of social media, applications, mobile devices, and the advancement of technology at such a fast pace opens up a range of routes to market and methods to communicate.
But when it comes down it its the best laid plans that succeed. There is no need to write 100 page document but a detailed plan will make the road clear.
remember social media can have huge impact on your business but how can you control weather that’s negative or positive and are you prepared if its negative remember if its easier to reach your customers its easier to reach you. With the speed that information travels on this global highway bad news will reach your customers as will good news.
The plan will help you determine how best to tackle that, avoid mistakes and invest your hard earned money in the most fruitful avenues that gives you the best payback, return on investment. After you have undertaken this plan you may find that social media is the best media for you to access your key stakeholders but at least you know and your sure with the help of the plan you will know how best to communicate and engage with them but will also give you some valuable knowledge.
Good look with your endeavours and I hope this was useful for you