Imagine if you went through all the trouble to develop a product and a business through which to sell said product. You stock the shelves, sweep the floor, turn on the lights, and unlock the front door after flipping the closed sign to open. But where are the customers? You run outside and start telling people on the street about your business and what you sell. That is marketing. But, you want to plan ahead. At this point, it is assumed that your company has it's eye on the prize. Now, it's time to target in on consumers to help you toward your goals. Like the market it taps for its users, marketing is ever changing. The goal of any marketing strategy is plain and simple: get your product in front of people. Whether you decide to go with a service or you want to do it yourself, there are some things you should consider. Any marketer will tell you that the first thing you need to do is develop a marketing plan.
Develop a marketing plan
When you first decided to start a business, even if the product came first, the first thing you most likely did was develop a business plan. In it were details that described to outsiders the nuts and bolts of your business. Your business, like you, changes. At the very least, you will change how your business is run to make it more efficient. To make it more ‘yours’. So, your business plan should change as well allowing you to strive for and reach new goals.
A marketing plan is of the same breed. You want to get your product out there. Even if you hire a marketing group, you still need to make the plan your baby. Your marketing plan (i.e., how you go about getting your product into people’s hands, or your site on their screens), is an ever changing document
Even if you hire an outside firm to handle all your marketing needs (i.e., the nitty gritty like marketing predictive analytics), or maybe you alone are the company, you need to know your own plan. You need to be able to steer the direction of the company, therefore the direction of your marketing plan.
Get it in front of your consumers
Print is not necessarily dead, but if you are not going to focus on digital and online formats, you are going to have an uphill battle. Decide which forms by which you can get your brand and/or products in front of people. They include blogging, search engine optimization, email lists, and social media (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram). If you decide to do it on your own, you should also decide which apps and online services that can help you develop and distribute posts and emails on a regular basis (i.e., Ripl, Buffer, and Mailchimp).
Increase the tools at your disposal
Regardless of how you decide to develop it, your plan should be your own. It should not look like any other plan because it is developed with the success of your product, your brand, in mind. Neil Patel, marketing expert, says that there are four sites that will teach you online marketing: Neilpatel.com/blog, Moz.com/blog, Searchengineland.com, and Backlinko.com. Undoubtedly, this is a stellar list. However, this list can, and probably should, be different. It should include sites and companies and people you trust with your brand.
Before you began marketing your product or your brand, you took the time to make a plan. In that plan, you laid out how and when and where you were going to let your consumers know about you brand or product. You understood that like people’s minds, the market changes, and so should your marketing plan. Rewind. You went through all the trouble to develop a product and a business through which to sell it. You stock the shelves. You sweep the floor. You turn on the lights, and unlock the front door after turning the sign to open. Customers come in and shop in your store and walk out having bought your product. All this because you took the time to understand your customers and let them know when a product they would like was available. All because you successfully planned your marketing strategy.