1. Determine Who Will Be the Person Who Will Market Your Business on a Daily Basis
Many business owners erroneously think that marketing is something you do at the beginning of your new business and then periodically when the need arises. Â Marketing is as essential to your business as the product or service your business offers. Â In fact, marketing should be a daily assignment for someone in your organization. Â If not the best person, YOU, then who will fill this role?
2. Determine Your Marketing Budget
Many fail to set a marketing budget and instead spend money when the mood strikes them, or that nice young salesperson comes calling. Â Be proactive and decide how much you will spend at the beginning of your business and regularly on an ongoing basis. Â You can set an amount per desired customer/sale, or set a percentage of gross sales. Â You must budget for marketing expenses or they can get away from you, either too low or too high.
3. Choose Your Marketing Tools in Advance
Donâ€™t just wait to see what the salespeople are offering. Â Have your research done to decide the best channel choices to reach your target customers, and have a written plan. Â Is it traditional media, print, electronic, offline or online media, or forms of â€œGuerrilla Marketingâ€ such as Viral, Wild Postings, Ambient, etc. that will best reach your target audience? Â Remember that it takes a multiple of channels operating at the same time to be most effective, and you should market on a longer term basis versus trying just one ad or tactic to see if it works for you. Â Successful marketing/advertising requires reaching a large percentage of your target with lots of repetition. Â Reach & Frequency!
4. Keep a Marketing Calendar
A simple calendar of marketing efforts will help you keep track of spending and results. Â It need not be a complex chart, just a simple listing by week, month, quarter-year of your marketing efforts. Â Remember, the results build over time (year #1 builds year #2, etc.). Â Do not expect immediate results and you will keep your sanity as you build your business.
5. Build a System to Allow for Marketing
The investment of time and money will be necessary. Â Allow yourself or the designated marketer in your organization to make it happen for you. Â Many often make the mistake of developing a plan and then not dedicating the resources necessary to be successful. Â Allow marketing to happen.
6.Â Execute, Execute, Execute!
Having a plan is good, but actually doing it is even better. Â Nobody is going to come rescue you, and nobody will do it for you. Â It is YOU who are responsible for marketing your business. Â Action is the determining factor of a successful marketing plan. Â Those who act, get results.
7. Track the Effectiveness of Your Plan
What is working over months and quarters of the year? Â What is most efficient? Â How much are you spending per new customer or sale? Â Buying a single or a few ads to decide what works is the least effective and least efficient way to go to market. Â Tracking where your customers and sales are coming is necessary. Â Remember, marketing effectiveness is a long-term measurement.
8. Refine & Improve
Periodically (every 6 months perhaps) you should look at your efforts and adjust accordingly. What is working, and what can be improved? Â What will you do in the next one-year cycle?
Remember too that business success is not a matter of luck, but preparation and action in combination.
Presented by Eddie Leonard, Chief Operating Guerrilla at Guerrilla Marketing Strategies, Inc., Anthem, Â Arizona.