Archive for marketing mix
(Nope. Pic has nothing to do with the topic. Just pretty… and maybe it will make you feel better after you read all the things that should be in a marketing plan… ;- ) )
I get the question, “What should be in a marketing plan?”, all the time…
Entrepreneurs understand that they will grow more reliably and effectively if they have a marketing plan (and a marketing calendar, along with a few other key pieces), but they really don’t know what belongs in one.
So, let’s talk about what should be in a marketing plan.
1. The Basics
The first pieces you want to include in your marketing plan are the basics. You want to get super clear on your target market, your ideal customer or client, and the message you are conveying to them. This information serves as a reminder to always focus your marketing efforts toward the people you want to reach and to always keep your primary message in mind as you draft different types of marketing.
This section also needs to include your goals. It can be helpful to have not just your overarching business goals here, but also short and long term business and marketing goals. These can include anything from very strategic pieces to very tactical pieces.
These are the pieces that will help you stay motivated and keep you on track.
2. Differentiators, Core Strategy & Brand Strategy
This is where you will get clear on what is known as your USP – your Unique Selling Proposition. This is the thing that makes you different, that helps you stand out from competitors, and will make you memorable to potential clients.
Here you will also include the core strategy behind the work that you and your business does as well as your brand strategy and how it will help to set you apart. It will also include elements like your story and how you relate to your ideal clients.
3. The Guts
This is where we start to get into the nitty-gritty of what should be in a marketing plan.
This section can vary depending on you and your business, but generally will include some or all of the following:
- Features & Benefits
- Marketing Materials
- Web/Online Strategy
- Lead Generation Strategy & Plan
- Lead Conversion Plan
- Referral Plan
- Customer Service Plan
- JV Plan
- Marketing Funnel
- Continuity Program
- Frequent Buyer/Rewards Program
- PR Strategy
- Marketing Calendar
- and more…
4. The Final Pieces
The final pieces that belong in your marketing plan include your testing and tracking systems for key metrics you will watch, your budget information, and any forecasts for your business that are related to your marketing (like your sales forecasts).
As you dig into what should be in your marketing plan, it’s important to understand that as you start out you may not need or want to include all of these pieces in your plan. This can be overwhelming, and therefore, end up counter-productive to your overall process. Your marketing plan should support you, help you to stay on track, and help to keep you accountable to yourself and anyone else who may be involved in your business.
If taking on all of these pieces is too much at the beginning, pick a few sections that will support you now and begin to work with them, setting an appointment in your calendar to re-visit the pieces and work on incorporating more on a monthly or quarterly basis until you have all the bases covered.
And, if you are curious about how to figure out what should go into YOUR marketing plan, check out my upcoming Marketing in the Morning™ webinar here. It’s free and I’m going to be sharing some of my BEST TIPS on making your marketing work – for you and for your bottom line. Don’t miss it – sign up here.
Finding Time to Blog is an Essential Internet Marketing Strategy
How do you find the time to blog with all the other activities in Social Media?
To me finding the time for anything, particularly things I know will help me grow my business is just as essential as brushing my teeth and making sure I make time to exercise. You just have to choose to make it a priority. I will say that when I get a question like this one there is usually something else behind it – like perhaps it’s hard to find the time to blog because either you don’t know what to blog about or you don’t really enjoy writing. There are many ways to deal with both. Since blogging is such an essential internet marketing strategy, I choose to make it a priority – and you should too.
Before you figure out WHAT you want to write about you need to figure out WHEN and HOW OFTEN you are going to write. To use your blog as an effective internet marketing strategy, the absolute minimum number of times you can blog is really about once a week. Ideally you want to build up to blogging 2-3 times a week or more, but if it’s a challenge for you, start with once a week and then consider increasing it. One way to add another entry a week is to do a weekly special entry, like motivation Monday or Inspiration Sunday – something like that where your readers will come to expect it from you and you will have a specific type of topic to cover. That works as both an easier topic to generate and keeps you on a schedule, holding your feet to the fire. You can consider doing a weekly review of something, share a video you found interesting, share something funny, something personal, a book review – whatever works for you. The idea is to make it a ‘regular feature’.
Once you decide how often, then schedule writing time for yourself every week – figure out if you are better in the morning or afternoon, and then just set a timer for ½ an hour or an hour and write on one of your topics. Remember, blog posts don’t need to be long to be effective – some people who blog regularly sometimes only write a paragraph or a few sentences on some days. Let the topic guide the length, and if it starts to get long, make it a two-part post. If the topic is a good fit for your keywords and you have a lot to say you can create a 3 part series – or perhaps even more.
Now, if you are looking for topics, one of the best ways is to set aside ½ an hour and brainstorm – make a list of everything you can think of and then start using that list. You can ask a fellow entrepreneur to brainstorm with you, you can look around at other blogs or magazines from your industry and see what people are writing about. When you find a topic you like, put it into a file – either digital or physical – and save the idea for later, that way you are always building a series of ideas – a blog idea folder. When your scheduled writing time comes up, if you aren’t sure exactly what to write about, grab your file and leaf through until something looks interesting, then get started.
The other thing that really seems to keep people from being able to use this internet marketing strategy regularly is that they don’t enjoy writing. If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy it, then don’t force yourself… if you don’t like writing, most likely you do enjoy speaking. In that case you can either do videos on your topic and put them up on YouTube (another GREAT internet marketing strategy) and then post them to your blog with a short write up or even a transcription of the audio.
If you don’t want to do video, you can record yourself speaking into an mp3 recorder or during a teleseminar you host for prospects, then send the audio file to a transcription service and get it transcribed. Then all you need to do is a little editing and post it on your site (many transcriptions services will also edit for an additional fee). You could easily record several blog posts in a ½ hour to 1 hour spoken segment, and then post them on your own schedule.
In this wonderful video by www.chow.com about the proprietor of SodaPopShop, a retail store in Los Angeles, he is interviewed about his passion for soda, providing his customers with something wonderful and unique and staying true to his niche. He even said no to Pepsi when they came calling! Enjoy.