I don’t know about you, but anytime I search the internet for marketing advice or tips and try to figure out how to do something myself, I get information overload. My attention is everywhere and my productivity goes way down.
So, earlier this year, I put together something, I’m calling “Marketing Planning: The Ten Essential Areas to Focus On”, which saves you time and allows you to maximize your energy and attention as you move forward in your marketing. I’d like to go ahead and share it with you today.
The soul of your planning exists within your mind, and your heart resides in the research you do. Insight gained from research will provide you with two important components: stability and reality to a plan. It will guide your hopes and ambitions while pointing to goals and tactics.
You must possess the insight to begin marketing planning with research. The more concrete the research, the more practical the marketing plan. Marketing plans gain strength, stability and vitality as you focus on these ten essential areas:
- Product or Service: Successful businesses and organizations learn what makes their product or service different, better, or desirable. You must find ways to improve it and add value to it.
- Competitive Advantages and Benefits: The research into the benefits offered by your product or service should be reflected in the marketing plan, especially benefits not offered by others which we call competitive advantages.
- Market: Plans exist not in a vacuum but in relationship to an entire marketplace. Become the expert in your market before planning. Every market has an expert.
- Industry: See your industry as a whole. You’ll spot vulnerabilities and opportunities, where you learn from successes and failures.
- Competition: Logical marketing plans are created according to ambitions and dreams and then adjusted to competitive activity. You must rarely be taken by surprise.
- Customers: Know the problems that your customers need solved and have a greater understanding of how they want them solved?
- Prospects: Invest time in determining who these people are. Dynamic and savvy business owners know this prior to the plan being created.
- Media: Learn the best ways to reach your target prospects and incorporate what you’ve learned about the media in your marketing plan.
- Internet: It’s so simple to poke and search for marketing intelligence that all businesses and organizations should make this mandatory before planning.
- Technology: Because speed and efficiency can win and keep customers and stimulate effective marketing, you must look into how technology can propel them to your goals.
The end result of research should be an arrow pointing in the right direction and a bow with the power to get the arrow to the target. The marketing plan is the shaking and vibration in which the bow and arrow are kept.