Marketing Plans for Small Businesses

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One area where many entrepreneurs and small business owners struggle is marketing. In fact, this struggle isn't exclusive to small businesses. Many business spend years of blood, sweat and money in creating a great product or service, and then expect the world to naturally appreciate (and purchase) it. The sad truth is that consumers are lazy. For better or worse, we all depend on marketing to tell us about the latest and greatest. Business is all about planning, and marketing becomes much easier when you have a plan. In this article we'll look at five steps for creating an effective marketing plan for your small business.Who Is Doing the Buying?
The first step for any marketing plan is to figure out who is going to be buying the product or service. Even if you really believe that everyone, regardless or age or gender, is going to be purchasing your product or service, you need to focus in on a segment that either makes up a majority of buyers or represents the greatest potential market. Everything you do in your marketing plan will be about reaching that segment and fitting your promotional approach to their preferences.What Is the Buy Trigger?People don't lay out cash for a product or service just because they are running out of room in their wallets. A purchase decision is triggered by something immediate – something that makes now the time to buy. This can be a seasonal reason, such as tax season resulting in people needing accountants and tax software, or it may be everyday things like needing a quick meal on the go, the discovery of a weird thumping when turning left and on and on. There is always a set of circumstances that result in a customer needing a product or service. The circumstances influence what a consumer wants in a solution – is fast and cheap the major concern or does the consumer want quality that will last? By identifying the circumstances and the key buying criteria used in those circumstances, you'll have a list of traits that you should emphasize in your promotional materials (high-quality, reliable, fast, no-hassle, etc.).Who Is Involved?No one buys alone. To effectively market a product or service, you need to know who is influencing the decisions of your target buyer. Is this a purchase where the consumer is likely the main user and only relying on peers and online reviews? Is this a purchase that impacts the family?

The individual versus family can change a marketing campaign completely. Food products tend to focus on women in their mid-30s as the main buyers of products, but a happy family is always featured as the end result of buying the product. Marketing campaigns for alcohol are focused on the individual male (mid-20 to mid-30s) but do so using a group of peers enjoying parties/wild adventures while consuming the product. This doesn't mean that men don't eat or women don't drink, it just means that the market research suggests a woman is more influenced by family preference when selecting food and a man is more influenced by friends when buying alcohol. Paying attention to the influencers while crafting promotional material will increase the impact it has upon your target buyer.


CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Marketing Plan Template: Writing Marketing Plans for Small Business
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2004-04-27 21:02:54 by choo22

I write business plans for business

I write business plans for small and mid-size businesses. I am formerly an investment banker and my partner is a Bain management consultant. Please contact us if you or anyone else is interested.
choo22@sbcglobal.net
Our philosophy on business plans is that not only is it a marketing document to disseminate your ideas - but your opportunity to critically think about your business and the opportunities and risks that lie ahead of you. We create professional business plans for multi-million dollar companies and small home businesses. Wendy and I work with you in a consulting role to bring you a wealth of business experience and knowledge to hone your business idea

2009-02-05 08:26:19 by sodhill

Advice wanted - just joined a new small business

I just graduated from college and joined a business that one of my friends started a month ago. We are selling an robust software service that helps employers, especially small businesses, set up an HRA and individual health plans for their employees, instead of group plans (saving them 50% or more on benefits, while offering better benefits to the employees).
I have never been in marketing though, and I don't know the best way to reach out to businesses. I don't have many connections with businesses, and networked with International development people in college, instead of business people

2004-04-27 21:04:45 by choo22

Need a business plan? Come to us

I write business plans for small and mid-size businesses. I am formerly an investment banker for Deutsche Bank and my partner is a Bain management consultant. Please contact us if you or anyone else is interested.
choo22@sbcglobal.net
Our philosophy on business plans is that not only is it a marketing document to disseminate your ideas - but your opportunity to critically think about your business and the opportunities and risks that lie ahead of you. We create professional business plans for multi-million dollar companies and small home businesses. Wendy and I work with you in a consulting role to bring you a wealth of business experience and knowledge to hone your business idea

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