in General

Foundations of a Marketing plan

Marketing plans… “why do I need a marketing plan”? “my customer is everybody”, “marketing plans suck”, “marketing plans don’t work” — excuses range from the extreme to the petty; nobody seems to like doing marketing plans. I personally hated marketing research plans and often thought them to be a real waste of time.

But I think marketing plans have become a tainted word. They confuse, bambuzzle people and make us (business start-up companies) feel inadequate when there’s no real need to be.

I think the basic’s/foundations of a marketing plan are quite simple:

1) Who is your customer? The most common question I’ve heard is “who is your customer?” — you need to describe how much they earn, where they live, what car they drive — all these questions tell us who you’re targeting.
2) Why would they buy your product? — why would your prospects buy your product/service? Don’t say quality – everybody has quality products/services… plus I’m begining to think quality is another word for satisfactory. Dismiss satisfactory; aim for delighted raving fans!
3) What makes your customers needs unique?
4) What problem does your product/service solve?
5) What are the ways you will use to reach them? Direct mail, posters, leaflets, web, referrals? Pick one and dominate it!

There are tons of questions relating to marketing plans, just do a simple one — think of 10 really hard marketing questions (or, better yet, do a search) and help draw up something that’ll postively move you from business idea to business plan.