You can read a thousand articles online on how to craft a marketing plan, but all of them cover the same tactics. Instead of reinventing the wheel, let's try to turn this into another direction. The goal here is to give you some actionable tips that you can use that others might overlook. You don't know it yet, but doing the same things as everyone else will eventually lead to failure. Why? The average business fails, and the reason for that is because everyone is doing the same thing. Let's get down to the brass tax and get you on your way of being the success you've always dreamed of.
Set a healthy budget that allows room for failure
Plan for failure? Who wants to fail? You should want to fail sometimes. How are you ever going to know what works and what doesn't if you don't occasionally fail? Businesses that think everything they do is right are the ones that end up not making the grade. Sure, you should plan for failure. Cut yourself some slack and go out there and do the wildest thing that you can think. Are you on the fence about advertising on Pinterest? Why not set aside $500 and see what happens? Sometimes to hit a home run, you've got to swing wildly. It would be foolish to say that you should do this sort of thing all the time. However, calculated risks are a must, and the boost you'll get from their successes is what will put you over the top.
Go beyond only knowing who your target audience is
How well do you know who your ideal customer is? That's the question you've got to ask yourself. Why do you need to know who they are? By knowing precisely who is going to buy what you're selling, you can target them directly. You'll spend far less money targeting your customers if you know who they are. You'll save tens of thousands of dollars by zeroing in on your perfect customer, and that in itself can make or break your business.
If you have not created the buyer personas for your company, it would be wise to do so. Market research is a step that will help you with your buyer personas, since they should include information such as demographics, age, gender and income. It’s very important that is also includes their pain points and goals. What are their interests? What problems are they trying to solve? You should take all these into consideration to create your buyer personas.
Take a step back and try to see the big picture
What we're trying to do here is something called situation analysis. You want to analyze your current situation. Sometimes it's best to have a third party do this. If you're a small online business, maybe bring someone in that you know and trust. Have them look at your site and your statistics to see if everything is running right. What you want to do here is have someone make an audit of what's going on in your business. There are probably areas of weakness and strengths that you're not paying attention to. By understanding how your business operates, you'll be able to exploit what you're doing well and fix the problem areas. A SWOT analysis is very important at this stage.
For conducting a situation analysis, it is also important to acquire an understanding of the current market. This means to research your competitors and see what they are doing, and if they are doing something better than you. You should also think about what they are not doing so well, so that you will be able to offer something that will give you a competitive advantage. Therefore, a competitor analysis will be proved useful for you at this point.
Think outside the box for the highest level of success
Your business must always be going up in a straight line. Anything other than growth is a bad thing. How are you ever going to be able to move forward if you follow the beat of the same drummer as everyone else? You can't, and success will become a faded hope when you realize your business is going down the drain. Zero in on who your ideal customer is, do your best to make sure that you serve their needs, and always keep track of your business's strengths and weaknesses. If you do those three things, then you'll be head and shoulders above the competition.