Do you just work in your business with no real plan? Or perhaps you have a marketing plan and it’s not really working for you? Not bringing in the $$ you deserve from the long hours you work?
Defining your brand is essential in developing your marketing plan.
Follow the tips below and let's increase your business exposure so your sales skyrocket!
Define your company’s current situation.
By ‘situation’, I simply mean your company and its products and services. List the benefits you provide that set you apart from your competition.
Not only do you need to be able to describe what you offer, but you must also have a clear understanding of what your competitors are marketing and be able to show how your product and/or service provides a better value.
In addition, write down a brief overview of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Strengths and weaknesses refer to characteristics that exist within your business, while opportunities and threats refer to outside factors.
To determine your company’s strengths, consider the ways that your product is superior to others, or if your service is more comprehensive, for example. What do you offer that gives your business a competitive advantage?
Weaknesses, on the other hand, can be anything from operating in a highly saturated market to lack of experienced staff members.
Next, describe any external opportunities you can capitalise on, such as an expanding market for your product or service. Don’t forget to include any external threats to your company’s ability to gain market share so that later you can detail the ways you’ll overcome those threats.
Then there’s positioning yourself in the market. This involves two steps.
Firstly, you need to analyse your product’s features and decide how they distinguish your product or service from its competitors. Secondly, decide what type of buyer is most likely to purchase your product or service. What are you selling? Convenience? Quality? Discount pricing?
You can’t offer it all. Knowing what your customers want helps you decide what to offer, and that brings us to the next step of your plan.
Describe your target audience.
Developing a simple, one-paragraph profile of your prospective customer is your next step. You can describe prospects in terms of demographics - age, sex, family composition, earnings and geographic location - as well as lifestyle.
Ask yourself the following: Are my customers conservative or innovative? Leaders or followers? Timid or aggressive? Traditional or modern? Introverted or extroverted? How often do they purchase what I offer? In what quantity?
For an example, wine producers need to decide what type of customer they want to appeal to, and who they don’t.
In this industry, marketing and production is usually geared toward those who will buy expensive bottles such as party hostesses, but they don’t buy as often as the younger generation. Very few wines are marketed at younger drinkers who buy reasonably priced bottles, but buy often. So a strong market that is ready and looking to buy regularly is often overlooked. So if marketing your local vino, look at the ideal drinker you’ve listed above and make sure you communicate to the needs and wants of this group.
Develop the marketing communications strategies and tactics you’ll use.
So, you’ve already outlined where your business is currently at, and you’ve decided on your target audience; now it’s time to think about the tactics you’ll use to reach these prospects and accomplish your goals.
You should target prospects at all stages of your sales cycle. Some marketing tactics, such as press advertising and direct marketing, are great for reaching cold prospects.
Warm prospects - those who've previously been exposed to your marketing message and perhaps even met you personally - will respond best to permission-based email, loyalty programs and customer appreciation events, among others.
Your hottest prospects are individuals who’ve been exposed to your sales and marketing messages and are ready to close a sale. Generally, interpersonal sales contact (whether in person, by phone, or email) combined with marketing adds the final heat necessary to close sales.
To identify your ideal marketing mix, find out which media your target audience turns to for information on the type of product or service you sell.
So, to recap:
Have clarity on your business overview.
Outline your target audience and relate to them.
Investigate your marketing options.
Now get cracking and you’ll be increasing your sales in no time!