So, how to start your marketing planning.  Most small businesses don’t have a current marketing plan, even though almost all big businesses do. In big business the plan is looked at every year and revised. Often there is also a periodic assessment to see if they are on the right track and that targets are being reached. What a big business knows that a small business may not is that good marketing doesn’t just enhance but is essential for the profitability and success of your business. Without a marketing plan, your business will most certainly face a lack of direction.

Ways to Start your Marketing Planning

It is often a good idea to go back to the basics and look at your plan. You may have done your plan years ago when you first started. I guarantee you that many things would have changed in that time. How many people started their business before Facebook or Instagram started. Sure, the people are the same but the mechanisms and technology are so much different.

Here are some good hints on how to get your plan in order.

Establish your business’s Purpose or “Why”

Ask yourself why you started your business in the first place? At Assertive Marketing, we have a process that we go through before we start with any client. We call it the “understanding your why” statement. Before we start we need to understand the basic essence of who you are and why you exist. Everyone, be it an individual or company, has a reason they do what they do. We need to understand your Why to understand why someone will want to buy from you or use your service. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

This process may be difficult at the start as most of us just do what we do and don’t really think about it too much. What you will discover by answering these questions will help you understand your business more clearly thus we will then know what message to give to your potential audience.

This is the essence of your story, the message you give your audience to:

  • Gain trust
  • Differentiate
  • Gain respect
  • Show that you are believable
  • Have your story straight

Write down your Why, How and What

  • Why – You do what you do
    We believe that… (the cause you are fighting for)
  • How – We do what we do
    By using only the best products, methods… (that fit your cause)
  • What – Do we do
    We offer products that help… (you achieve)

This now forms the basis of your communications to your market.

Define Your Goals. – What do you want to achieve?

  • Is it more sales
  • More Leads
  • Brand recognition
  • Business growth in new areas.

Remember not every business has the same needs.

Focus on your strengths

Find what makes your business strong and sets it apart from the competition (your why process will help you do this). Have a strong message to give the market?

Your target audience – where are they?

  • Use your current customer knowledge – do your research
  • Find out what and how they find things
  • How they do their research

Arm your company with the right resources

  • Your website – is it modern, engaging, relevant
  • Logo and branding – does it represent your why?
  • Brochures and printed material, even quotations, and proposals – Anything that is representing you to your potential customer

No matter if your business is big or small, plan your marketing to save you the time and money later. Whether you’re the head of the marketing department or the owner of your own business, planning your marketing can significantly improve the success of your business and cut down costs. It’s a smart way to invest in your business’s future.