February 16, 2021

4 Simple Steps to Write a Successful Small Business Marketing Plan

These hacks are based on 25 years of experience writing marketing plans. While the means to reach the customer have completely changed, the fundamentals haven't

Here are 4 simple steps to write a successful marketing plan. These hacks are based on 25 years of experience writing marketing plans. While the means to reach the customer have completely changed, the fundamentals of communication have not.

Complete a Market Analysis

When writing a successful marketing plan, we start by defining the ideal target for your product or service. This is more than women 25-34. It's understanding what emotional need you are trying to solve. We like to believe we are rational beings, but most human decision making is emotional, consciously or unconsciously.

Next, we analyze the competition, by defining your competitive set, and its strengths/weakness compared to your own .

Finally, ask yourself a few simple questions: who can help/hinder your success? What are the environmental factors, which can impact your business?

This ends the first step in writing a successful marketing plan.

Clearly Articulate Your Unique Point of Difference

If it's longer than a sentence or two at most, it's not clearly articulated. There are 3 key elements in crafting a successful point of difference when writing a successful marketing plan. They are the insight, benefit, and reasons to believe (RTBs).

The insight is a phrase or sentence that demonstrates a deep understand of your target's emotional and physical needs, that, when communicated, has the power to motivate a change in behavior. Here are some good example of insights.  We offer some free tools to help determine if you have a good insight.

The primary job in writing a successful marketing plan is to motivate someone to do something differently than they are doing today. It's as simple and as difficult as that.

The insight is the catalyst that gets the process started. The benefit is how you UNIQUELY provide a solution to the customer's emotional and physical needs. The RTBs are the 1 or 2 points that serve as evidence why the benefit is true.  Writing a successful marketing plan is easy when you have a solid insight. Finding it is the more challenging part.

Outline the Marketing Objectives, Goals, and Tactics

The next step in writing a successful marketing plan is to explain how you are going to communicate your point of difference, in a way that breaks through the clutter, so that it is heard by your target.

It starts with the business objective. For example, growth by 20%, double our sales, and so on. Then, you explain how the marketing goals will help the business reach these objectives. For example, grow our social media followers by 40%, or whatever metric is most important to your sales funnel.

Clearly outline your sales funnel. Showing how you will drive awareness and convert that to trial. Next, outline how you will use that trial to build loyalty.

Most Importantly, Measure Performance

Create a metric for every key marketing tactic you plan to use. Whether its followers, page conversion, visits, just make sure that each is clearly tied to a performance metric that you can monitor

If you are like most small business, you didn't go into business because you loved writing marketing plans. You did it because you love what you do. We get that. ProStrategix has helped number business write successful marketing plans. We can help you, too.

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About the Author

Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile

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