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How to write a great marketing plan

Many business owners find that writing a marketing plan; can be far more challenging then they initially thought it would be. Your marketing plan will in large part, have the parameters determined by both your experience and how much money you can spend. If you feel unsure as to how to go about writing a marketing plan, it can be helpful to consult a marketing professional, for guidance. However, you decide to write your marketing plan, you should keep in mind that having a successful marketing plan will play an integral part as to whether or not your business is successful, in the long run. Your marketing plan will be the roadmap, for how you attract the attention of your target market, and who them what your business can offer them, in terms of the products and services that you sell. Here is what you need to know about how to write a great marketing plan-

- Determine your target market-The first step is being able to write a great marketing plan, is to know who you are writing it for. You need to know who is most likely to want to buy your products and services. You should not make the mistake of thinking that you can be everything to everyone. Companies that do not take the time to do the necessary research, and simply try to market to everyone are rarely successful. Market research is a task that takes both time and effort. You can start by getting on social media sites and reaching out to your customers. You want to have a dialogue with them that will show you what they are looking for. If you already have an existing company (versus starting one), this can also be a great way to see what your customers think about your business, and what they are saying about it online.
- Know what is selling-You will need to find out what is selling in your market, before writing your marketing plan. You must be able to position your product or service, so that it attracts the attention of your target market. Keep in mind that simply finding your target market is not enough. You must know what they buying and why. You want to be able to show your customers why your product or service, can meet their needs, better then the competition. It is also important to know what trends are going on in your market, and how this is being perceived by your potential customers. Another integral part of the marketing plan is to consider your pricing strategy. Keep in mind that simply pricing your product or service lower then everyone else may not be the right strategy. If your product is priced to low, your customers may feel that it doesn't have enough value, conversely, if you price to high, you may price yourself right out of the market.
- Decide how much you can spend-Your marketing plan will also be determined by what you can spend. You must be able to have a clear idea of how much your overall business budget, you can spend toward marketing. If you are the owner of a small business, that may not be a lot of money. However, by using creativity and planning, you can still market creatively and have great results. In addition, smaller businesses should be cautioned against trying to outspend their larger competition. This is only a fast way to drive you out of business. It is virtually impossible to spend marketing dollar for dollar, against what your larger competition is doing. You will have a far better result if you focus on using your marketing dollars where they are most effective and will offer you the highest return on investment.

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