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Factors to consider when writing your marketing plan

Many business owners underestimate the importance of writing a marketing plan. It is important to understand that just like any other part of your business you need a plan to focus your marketing efforts, make them effective, and chart how you are doing. However, it is important that before you simply sit down and begin writing that you take the time to consider different factors that will significantly affect your marketing. One of the most important is how you will position your business through your marketing. When you are able to determine the factors that will affect your market positioning you will have a better idea of how your marketing should develop. Here are factors to consider when writing your marketing plan-

- Find your target market-Many inexperienced business owners assume that everyone will want to buy their product or service. The bottom line is that no matter how great your product or service is not everyone will want to buy it. However, there will be a certain segment of the population who will be more interested in buying your product or service. Those are the people that you need to find. Once you find out who these people are you will be able to begin to form your marketing plan.
- Know what value your product or service has-It won't be enough to simply find the people who are the most interested in buying your product or service. You will need to find out why they would want to buy your product or service and how they will use it. Keep in mind that your target market will buy your product or service because of what is in it for them so you will need to have this information in order to correctly formulate your marketing plan. If your customers will have certain expectations about your product or service you will need to address this in your marketing. If you fail to do this your customers will become dissatisfied with what you have to offer and move on to your competition.
- Determine where to find your target market-Now that you know who your target market is and why they would buy from you the next step is to determine where you can find them. Marketing is expensive and to simply send out your marketing and hope for the best is rarely effective. Instead you will need to have enough market research to determine where your target market is most likely to be and then position your marketing appropriately. For example-If your target market will not be looking for your product or service online then your marketing efforts shouldn't be focused on an online marketing campaign. You want to make it easy for your target market to know where to find you and what you have to offer.
- Decide on the marketing methods that you can afford-Part of your marketing plan will deal with the marketing budget. You will need to look closely at the most effective ways to spend your marketing dollars and keep track of what you spend on your marketing. Now that you know who your target market is, what they looking for, and where to find them the marketing methods that you should use will become more apparent. The business owner will need to determine which marketing methods will be the most effective to spend money on. Keep in mind that effective marketing does not necessarily mean expensive marketing. You want to focus your marketing spending where you will get the biggest return on investment. With some creativity and planning even the smallest marketing budget can be used for effective and successful marketing.

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