A Small Business Guide to Planning Your Marketing Strategy


Marketing a small business is no easy task. Having a solid marketing strategy gives you a clear plan to follow, and increases your chances of success. Planning your marketing strategy in advance is the best way to ensure the success of your next marketing campaign. There are several important factors that you need to consider before planning your strategy.

Determine what you want to achieve

Every marketing campaign needs to have clear aims and goals. Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve from your marketing efforts is the best way to plan an effective way forward. Try to be specific when setting your goals. For example, rather than setting a general goal like "publicise my business", choose a more specific goal, such as "attract new customers from the local area".

Identify your target audience

Think about the kind of people you are aiming your marketing campaign at. Who are they? What are there interests? For example, if your goal is to attract new customers from the local area, your target audience will most likely be made up of local people. However, you should also be able to identify more specific information, such as the approximate age, job status and possible hobbies of your target audience. For example, if your business sells science fiction action figures, your target audience may be male teenagers with an interest in science fiction.

Research your target audience

Knowing as much as possible about your target audience helps you to tailor your marketing campaign. Find out how they spend their time, how they communicate and what they are most likely to respond to. For example, if your target audience do most of their communicating through emails, an email marketing campaign could be part of your marketing strategy. On the other hand, if your target customers spend a lot of their spare time using social media, a social media marketing campaign may be the best way to reach them.

Take stock of your resources

If you have a large budget for your marketing campaign, you may be able to buy all the services and items that you need for promoting your business. However, if you have little or no budget available, you will need to take stock of the resources you can utilise. For a simple online marketing campaign, you may need little more than a few hours of your time to put the campaign together. However, for an extensive local publicity campaign, you may need local media contacts, support from other local businesses and special printing equipment. Taking stock of what you already have will also help you to identify the things you still need.

Planning your marketing strategy

Once you have a clear idea of the goals and aims of your campaign, you can use the information you have gained about your target audience to plan the best way to achieve your goals. Remember to take account of the available resources, and be realistic about what you can do with these resources.

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