Planning your marketing campaign doesn’t have to be daunting. It doesn’t take weeks to design your plan. If you put in the time, it can be accomplished in a day or so. Follow the steps I am about to outline and you will develop an easy to follow guide to keep you focused. Once this is done, all of the energy that comes from the desire to succeed can be channeled appropriately.
Step One: Understand your Market. Understand your Competition.
Don’t think about what people need. Think about what people want. Everyone needs toilet paper. But people want soft toilet paper. Everyone needs bed sheets. Everyone wants comfortable bed sheets.
You are looking for hungry crowds. Figure out what will make a hungry customer jump to buy your product or service.
Ask yourself these questions:
· Is there any part of my target market that is being underserved?
· Can my product or service find a large enough section of the market in order to make money?
· How large a section of the market do I need in order to break even?
· Is the market flooded? Is there too much competition?
· How can I capitalize on the weaknesses of my competition?
· Would my market appreciate or desire the unique nature of my product or service?
Step Two: Understand Whom It Is Your Selling To
Who is your customer? What do they want? How can you motivate them to act?
Surveys are another good way to understand what your customers need and want. Offer some kind of discount or special report in return for filling out a questionnaire. Ask them poignant questions. Ask them what made them buy your product or service in the first place. Ask them how you could make your business better. Ask them what their favorite part of your business is.
Get specific. Find out how your potential customer normally purchases similar products or services. Is this compatible with the Internet? Who is it that actually makes the purchase? Is there anyone who influences this decision? What are the habits of your potential customer and how do you fit in? Where do they get their information (i.e. internet, television, radio, print, word-of-mouth). And the biggest one is: what is the primary reason that would motivate them to make a purchase?
Step Three: Focus your Market
Unless you have the money to compete with the big guys, don’t just be a bookstore. Be a bargain bookstore or be a fine art bookstore. Whatever your niche is you have to be able to determine if and how you can communicate to them. If you are selling services to people in retirement homes, the Internet is probably not the best place to market.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Many people want to try and keep their market large so there are more potential customers. However you have to qualify your customers. Again you might have a product or service that reaches a variety of people. You just have to create different marketing plans for each niche.
Step Four: Decide What It Is You Want to Say.
There are two steps you make when you create your marketing message. The first is to create a short, focused marketing statement. When someone asks you what you do, you would respond with this first statement.
The second statement is about creating a big picture that is compelling and persuasive. It has to answer these questions:
· What exactly is the problem your product or service is addressing?
· What is the urgency? Why is this problem so important that it needs to be addressed today?
· Why are you the solution? What makes you the business that your potential customer needs in order to find this solution?
· What are the benefits (not the features) of your product or service?
· What do your customers or other experts have to say about your product or service?
· How much does it cost? If it costs lower than normal or higher than normal, why have you chosen this price?
· What is your guarantee? How do you reassure your potential customer that they can make a purchase in peace?
Step Five: How Are You Going To Market Your Business on the Internet?
There are many typical and atypical ways of marketing your business on the Internet. It takes a fusion of creativity and the implementation of methods that will be discussed in detail later. Come back to this question once you’ve read through the library.
Step Six: Define Your Goals
Setting goals is the glue that connects your business’s marketing plan with overall success. Make sure that your goals are realistic and measurable, and make sure that you give yourself a set amount of time. Leaving things open-ended can cause procrastination, even if it’s involuntary.
Step Seven: Create a Marketing Budget
The beauty of the Internet is that marketing isn’t incredibly expensive. In fact, companies that have large budgets spend an unnecessarily large amount of money on advertising that is not incredibly effective.
For example, banner ads are quite popular. However, most people on the Internet tune them out automatically and subconsciously. So banner ads do not usually have a very good click through rate.
However, a banner can be an effective subconscious marketing tool. Banner ads are mainly good for branding. If someone sees a banner ad, and runs across a more direct marketing message from the same company, they might be more apt to explore that second marketing message, even if they can’t pinpoint why that particular business sparked their interest.
Be able to compare the average cost to produce your product or service against the average cost to capture a new customer or the cost to sell one product. As you read on, you will get a better idea on how much you will be spending.
No matter what your budget should be, you have to be willing to create an appropriate budget that will get you results. So don’t be cheap. Even if it is incredibly cost effective to advertise on the internet, you still will have to spend money.
It is estimated that sixty-nine new products get released every day. The competition is stronger than it has ever been. As a result, your target customers are also becoming smarter shoppers and more discerning.
If you want to have any success you have to differentiate. You have to figure out how to separate yourself and your business from your competition. And you have to figure out how to make this obvious to your customers. This is one place where marketing becomes highly creative.
Differentiation can come in many forms. Obviously one of the most important places is in the product or service you offer. If you have a wonderfully unique marketing plan or website design, but a lousy product, you might have an initial spike in new customers, but through word of mouth, your reputation for having a mediocre product or service will come back to bite you.
Your marketing plan is composed of many different parts, each of which can benefit from differentiation. You should be lying in bed at night brainstorming on how to make your marketing plan have a great pop.
One-Step and Two-Step Marketing
In a one-step marketing plan you are trying to go from advertisement to a purchase right away. For example, when major airlines tell people to go to their website in order to get their web-only discounts, they are essentially trying to motivate their visitors to purchase a ticket right away, especially since everyone knows that ticket prices can increase hundreds of dollars without notice. This technique will only attract serious buyers.
A two-step marketing plan is really about lead generation. You are giving people more of an opportunity to decide whether they want to purchase your product. This is accomplished by offering a small gift, like a downloadable ebook or special report that gives the valuable information and shows them why your business knows what it’s doing. In return for getting this gift, you get their email address, and begin a campaign to remind them of why they should purchase your product.
Giving away a free gift for visiting your website plays on an important marketing tool: reciprocity.
Discover over 200 Internet marketing secrets from over 50 of the Internet’s most successful marketers: www.magarigroup.com. Just one of these secrets can mean thousands of dollars for your business.