One of the main difficulties faced by any entrepreneur is that advertising has changed and evolved over the last few years. It now includes audio, visual, and electronic media. Website programming of all sorts allows you to interact with your customers. And that is just the tip of the iceberg!
The Internet has made unbelievable amounts of information accessible, but it has also contributed to information overload. An effective advertising / marketing campaign is not about being everything to everyone, but is about having a conversation with your ideal customer and measuring those results through sales and/or feedback.
Advertising is an attempt to influence the buying behaviour of your customers or clients by providing a persuasive selling message about your offerings. Technically, advertising is only one way of promoting your business; ensure that whatever form of advertising you choose fits in with your marketing plan, strategy, and budget.
Forms of Advertising:
Marketing is a process of interesting potential customers and clients in your offerings. The key word in this marketing definition is “process”: marketing involves researching, promoting, selling, and distributing your products or services. Marketing involves everything that you do to match your potential customers to your product or service.
Forms of Marketing:
Here are some of the major areas and questions, by category, that you can ask in order to develop your marketing plan:
Know your audience.
Know your competition — be prepared to do a little detective work.
Examine what the larger businesses in your industry are doing.
Know your message.
Write your marketing plan in five subsections:
Target Market / Competitive Analysis
You will need to understand the size of the target market for your product or service, and the number of competitors that already satisfy (or don’t) the market you are attempting to break into with your new business idea. The target market section should cover:
Services / Products
Your marketing strategy should communicate what makes your product or service unique.
An important part of marketing is determining the price of your product or service. If your prices are too high for your customers, some will pass you by. If you do not charge enough, some may question the value of your offerings. Some markets and products will be price sensitive — consider what pricing says about your company and your products.
Sales / Distribution Plan
Your sales / distribution plan should detail how the transaction between you and your customer will take place. You need to explain in detail what type of distribution channels are available to you: account representatives, sales people, internet referrals, delivery services, wholesalers, and retailers. Analyze the various stops and routes in your distribution plan for possible efficiencies or duplications, cost-savings, and excessive costs.
Advertising and Promotions Plan
Your advertising and promotions plan must detail how you are going to communicate to your customers and prospects. If possible, provide an example of a mock-up of your brochure, website pages, advertisements, etc.
Download an Advertising Worksheet