Did you know that the number one reason why many new businesses don’t do as well as they planned during the first years of their conception – and the reason why some potentially great ideas end up crashing and burning – is because they failed to develop a solid marketing strategy right off the bat?
Coming up with a great marketing plan for your business is just as important as coming up with a business plan in general. Your marketing plan should be a more specific version of your business plan, which zeroes in on strategies, objectives, facts and numbers.
The whole point of creating a marketing plan is to help your business attract new customers and turn them into long-term customers, which is why it’s such a vital part of keeping your business afloat as it develops. Here are 5 steps to create a marketing plan for your e-commerce app that will help you win new customers, grow your business and maximize your profits.
Define Your Company with a Situation Analysis
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A situation analysis helps you outline what your business offers and compare it to your competitors. It also helps you identify your niche in the industry. This analysis should point out the strengths and weaknesses (characteristics of your business) as well as its threats and opportunities (factors that exist outside of your business).
To find the strengths within your business, ask yourself which products and services are superior to the others like them on the market. Pinpoint exactly the things that give your business its competitive edge.
No one likes to admit that their business has a weakness, but every business does, and it’s important to find and understand yours. From inexperienced staff to trying to sell into a saturated market, figure out what your obstacles are.
Find your business opportunities by analyzing the market your business is operating in. Where is there room for expansion? Threats to your business can be found in the same place. Who are your competitors?
Understand Who Your Customers Are
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Who is your ideal customer? How old are they? Where do they live? What is their lifestyle like? You need to know who your customers are in order to create a solid marketing strategy. It’s very difficult to advertise to people or businesses as a general whole in today’s markets. Your marketing efforts should be personalized and targeted toward a specific audience, so think long and hard about who that audience is.
Set Some Goals
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While your main objective is obviously to grow your customer base and turn higher profits, you must remember to set your business goals specifically, so that you can measure them later. When you set your goals for your marketing plan, think deep and be as specific as you can. You want to be able to measure each goal so that you can understand whether you’re on track and how long it took you to achieve them.
Consider Your Marketing Tactics
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Once you’ve pinpointed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your business, understood who your ideal customer is, and set some specific goals, you can begin to consider your marketing tactics.
This is an extremely important factor in any marketing plan. Consider all of the platforms you can use to promote your business, including more innovative ones like the first self-serve advertising platform. You should also keep in mind the different people or businesses you’ll be marketing to at different stages of your sales cycle. Consider cold prospects and warm prospects as well as your hottest prospects and interpersonal sales contacts.
Think about that ideal customer of yours again. What would your greatest exposure be in their everyday lives? You have to hit your prospective customers where and when they’ll be the most receptive to your efforts.
Never Stop Reviewing and Adjusting
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Understand that you can’t create a marketing plan once and leave it alone. You should always be analyzing, reviewing, adjusting and tracking your efforts. There are several ways for you to check if your marketing plan worked, and you should revisit these often to stay on track.
Need Help Getting Started?
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If you want some help getting started with creating an all-star marketing plan, you can download marketing plan sample models and examples online. They’ll help get your creative juices flowing, and you can even use the software to create a plan of your own from scratch.
Never underestimate the power of a solid marketing plan. Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to creating a flourishing business.
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