Marketing Plan: A First Step

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I find one of the hardest things to do is to consistently employ the things I know I should do in my day-to-day activities. I mean, I have read a lot, attended seminars and learned much from colleagues, friends and customers. But applying what I know on a regular basis is a real challenge. Having a plan is one thing, following it is another. But the first step is having a plan.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” -Sun TzuBusiness By Referral by Dr. Ivan Misner

If you haven’t completed a Marketing Plan, a good place to start is with Appendix B of Business By Referral by Dr. Ivan Misner. Identifying 4-8 key referral sources, developing a series of activities for each, and getting those activities in your calendar will yield results. (Using the Networking Score Card to monitor your progress. 100+ points per week will do the trick.)

Remember the 5 M’s of Marketing: Target Market, Customer Motivation, Message, Media, and Metrics? Are you satisfied with your message? Have you tested it on friends and current customers? And what media are you using to deliver your message? One spoke in your marketing wheel makes for a bumpy ride. What media best reaches your target prospect and fits your style of doing business? What are the combinations of marketing that make the things you are doing work better? Single marketing activities may yield results but a series of activities that support each other, build awareness, and call for action will do even better for you.

The media you select will depend on a number of things from market niche to budget, but your personality will play a roll in what methods you employ and how enthusiastically and consistently you market. Some people are suited to building large networks and working them for new business while others are more comfortable creating a small number of close and highly productive relationships. Some enjoy social networking, attending events and meeting new people while others are more comfortable using internet tools to build their network. Or maybe writing articles, public speaking, press releases or advertising better suites your style? All these approaches, however, require that you have a system to manage the relationships you initiate. Plan a 90 day campaign and track your activities and results. Find the marketing combinations that work best for you.

With most businesses success can be achieved through a number of different marketing strategies. The key is to have one and to implement it.