Sellstate

The Most Powerful Marketing Tool: The Business Plan


The Sellstate Marketing Studio is continuing an earlier segment on effective social media promotion based off of Gail Z. Martin’s “30 Days to Social Media Success”. The presented principles outlined in Mr. Martin’s comprehensive guide will assist business owners in making the most out of Twitter, Blogging, LinkedIn and Facebook.

For this segment we will be focusing on a very crucial and underestimated tool in marketing: The Business Plan. Regardless if you have never created a business plan or have an outdated strategy, these tips will help you prepare a dynamic road-map to success:

#1. Define Success in Your Own Terms

Define what you mean by the term “success” for the next 12 months.  Your definition must satisfy your current needs, however it is likely to evolve over time. Creating a measure for success is crucial, because it’ll help you know when you’ve hit it.

Here are some ways to define business success for any given year:

1) Profit

2) Market Share

3) New Product Penetration

4) Media coverage and endorsements

5) National distribution channels.

6) Percent gain in product sales.

7) Industry credibility- speaking engagements, interviews, board or committee roles.

#2. Look for Marketing Gaps!

First align your business plan goals according to your success priorities. Once completed, match those goals to the right target audience. Now it’s time to go “gap hunting.”

1) Are there any goals/audiences without even one marketing effort?

2) Are all the marketing efforts bunched up around one goal?

3) Does most of your marketing effort support your top prioritized goal?

4) Is most of your effort being put into goals you’ve ranked as second or third in importance?

5) Do you have target audiences who aren’t the focus of any marketing?

6) Is one target audience getting all the marketing messages?

7) Are second- or third-goal audiences getting more marketing messages than your top-goal audience?

Make a list of these marketing gaps, because you’ll need to address them across your marketing, and you’ll want to look for ways social media can help you plug the holes.

#3. Defining Your Transformative Value

Before any customer spends money, he or she has to overcome two obstacles: ego and money. Most people won’t hire someone for any job until :

1) They have failed to do it themselves

2) There is enough at stake that continued failure will cost more than paying for the job.

Your transformative value is the way you speak to the consumer’s problem/pain/fear in your own unique way. T0 satisfy the challenge, you’ve convinced the prospect that you have skills they don’t, you will save them money, and they’ll have better results.

HERE IS THE SUMMARY OF A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS PLAN:

#1. Define short/long term goals.

#2. Look for gaps that marketing can improve on (audience and methods)

#3. Define YOUR competitive advantage. What incentive do YOU offer that makes the job easier than doing it on my own?

Stay tuned for the next update to this productive series!

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