3 Step Simple Marketing Plan
One of the most common things SMEs struggle with is creating a marketing plan. It’s all very well being the best at what you do, but unless others know that, how are you ever going to attract them to you?
A marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated, so I have come up with a simple 3 step marketing plan that will help you get more new customers.
Set your Goals
In order to get something, you need to know what you want to get, so set clear goals on exactly what you’d like to achieve and keep it simple.
For example, if you wish to generate £4,000 per month, then think about what each new client is worth to you. If every new client is worth £500 to you, then you need to have 8 new clients per month. Knowing this allows you to put a plan together on how to achieve this goal of 8 new clients per month.
Create an action with your marketing plan
Now you know what your goals are, you can create a plan that sets out exactly what you’re going to do to achieve them. For example, with a goal of 8 new clients per month, then if telemarketing has proven to work for you, set yourself a target of making 20 calls per day with a view of getting 2 appointments from them. That makes 10 appointments per week, from which you can aim to win 2 new clients per week.
“How do I target the right kind of prospect?” I hear you ask. Well, start with your existing customers – these are what your future customers will most likely resemble, so aim to get more just like them. Consider where your strengths lie with regards to industries, geographical locations, size of company and the contact within them – that will help you determine the parameters to set your sights on.
Next, think about what activity you undertook in order to win your existing customers. Did they come via networking? Was it an email broadcast? Maybe you undertook some telemarketing activity. Whatever it was, think about how these channels could be used again, or if not used before then used now, in order to achieve your goals.
Next, think about other new ways of getting new clients that you’ve maybe not used before. Social media is an increasingly popular channel, as you can send messages, blogs, updates etc quickly and inexpensively. Direct mail remains a fantastic channel, with research showing increasingly impressive conversion rates. A direct mailing such as an A5 postcard can be an effective and surprisingly inexpensive way of connecting with your customers and prospects alike.
So, now you can create a list of activities that you can start to include in your calendar. For example, attend one networking event per week, make 20 daily telemarketing calls, spend 30 minutes on social media per day and set aside an hour to come up with a direct mail campaign to promote your products and services.
Take action with your marketing plan
You now know your goals, plus you have a list of activities that you can include in your calendar in order to achieve them. The next step is to take action and follow through on your list. Make your calls, send your email broadcast, get busy on LinkedIn … the actions are the only part of the plan that will bring the results, so get cracking!
The final part of the process (it isn’t actually the final part as there is no final part, since marketing is a constant thing that just keeps going) is crucial, and yet it is too often inadequately carried out, and that is to record your results. “Test and measure” is a well-known marketing phrase, and for a reason.
If something is working well, then do more of that. Those things that work less well can be moved down the list of priorities. I wouldn’t necessarily remove them entirely, as whilst some activities can be slower burners than others, they can still yield great results further down the line. Networking is a great example of that, since people like to get to know you first, then they get to like you and finally trust you such that they can refer you.
This is a simple, yet effective marketing plan that has been tried and tested over and over by many people. However, remember that a marketing plan is great on paper, but until you take action, it’s just a piece of paper.