from Business News Daily 7/10 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Why? Knowing where your Business is headed [Vision] is a big part of figuring out how to make it a success. While every startup should have a business plan, it’s absolutely necessary for your product or service – to make sure your Business Plan includes a separate section on the Marketing Plan, so you have a plan to reach you Target Market.
A Marketing Plan can be formal or informal, but it should detail who your Customers are [Target Market], where they get their information and how you’re going to deliver your Marketing message to them. While you should seek creative ways to market your business , don’t expect them to work unless you first understand the basics and develop a marketing plan + a marketing strategy. The single most important thing for a Startup or Small Business (SB), is to include in its Marketing Plan is a very clear understanding of its Customers & its Competitors.
Why buy you ??? Develop a very clear & focused insight into why a potential Customer should use your business. More specifically, what is the core “need” that your offering will meet or problem to solve. Is it “Faster, Better, Cheaper ??? Your offering should be designed to do that so you get the attention of your Customer – as the new kid on the block – or offer significant advantages the your Customer will switch to you from your Customers.
Identify your Target Customers. There are numerous “potential” Customers in most markets, but to succeed faster and better, a Startup/SB must research the market to determine the characteristics of its most likely Target Customers [TC]. The characteristics of the TC should be described in detail. Review your Mktg Plan frequently (ie, Quarterly) to see if your Customers have changed. You may have a new “need” to focus on.
Define the Competitors. who would also want your Target Customers, and/or from whom you will take customers to build a successful business. Startups focus on this to know who to “target”, but small business (once they get going), seldom take the time to study their competitors in depth. But you must understand who your competitors are, what is their core competitive advantage and how they will respond to your offering (price cuts, increased communication, etc.). There is always a competitor. Maybe not the same Product or Service, but alternate ways of meeting their needs. Review your Mktg Plan frequently (ie, Quarterly) to see if your Competition or the Market has changed. You may need to focus on or develop a modified product or service to meet new “needs” or “threats”.
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