Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc, once said that people do not know what they want until you show it to them. While having an innovative product is a vital ingredient for business growth, marketing is the lifeblood of success. You may have an excellent product but people will not care until you put enough effort in getting them interested. Planned marketing not only puts your product in the limelight but is a great way to build brand recognition and acquire customers trust.
Many small business owners make the mistake of assuming that structured marketing needs a lot of money and it is therefore for enterprises with big budgets and cash flows. This is not true because the main goal of having a structured marketing plan is to ensure that maximum results have been achieved with as minimal resources as possible. Here are the top seven reasons as to why every business should have a marketing plan.
It enables you to answer important business questions.
Before you start complaining that no one is paying attention to your products, ask yourself if you would buy if you were to alternate places with the customer. A good marketing plan helps you empathize with the customer and see things through from their point of view. By doing this, you are able to develop your product to meet their real needs.
The market plan preparation process involves analyzing all the aspects of your business in relation to your target market and the available opportunities and loopholes. With a good market plan, the process is easier since all the important business questions have been answered.
It helps minimize resources wastage.
Among the major business expenses, marketing tops the list. However, when properly planned, it can be the most rewarding thing to your business. A marketing plan helps you identify people who are in need of your product and hence market to them directly. This means that you do not have to waste resources marketing to the wrong market.
For startups with new innovations, a marketing plan should be prepared before the product is launched to ensure maximum target market coverage is achieved before the competitors saturate the market. An innovation without proper marketing strategies is prone to harsh competition and imitators.
It helps align your business goals with the marketing strategies.
The principal goal of having a marketing plan is to present your product to potential customers and communicate its benefits to them. Whether for a startup or a blue chip company, a marketing plan helps define the business vision, mission, and goals, and what needs to be done to achieve them. The product should revolve around these goals and it is for the marketing plan to define ways in which it should be presented to the customer.
For instance, the marketing plan may evaluate the various ways to create product awareness and help the entrepreneur come up one that is in line with the vision and mission of their business.
It guides you on best marketing approach.
A good marketing plan gives a clear picture of the target markets to your product and the best marketing approaches to reach the target audience. When preparing a marketing plan, the target market and the role of the product in their lives should be clearly understood. The marketing approaches should be in line with the level of understanding of the target market, their income, and the role of the product or service in their lives.
If the product is not a basic need to them, the marketing plan should help you answer why they should be interested in your product. With this understanding, you should be able to craft your marketing content around their wants.
It offers the yardsticks to measure marketing effectiveness.
A well-structured marketing plan should define the yardsticks to be used in measuring the effectiveness of the marketing process. It should outline the goals of marketing and give a timeframe to assess the results. The marketing process should be carried out in line with the organization’s objectives and the performance should be analyzed basing on the criteria on the marketing plan.
If the performance is below the targeted standards, the marketing strategy should be analyzed and revised. A good marketing plan should give a clear picture of the effectiveness and efficiency of the marketing strategy.
It defines the industry and your business competitors.
A good marketing plan should clearly define your product or service and its position in the market. It should identify the target market for your products and determine the trends in the industry. With a marketing plan, you should be able to analyze your competitors and hence determine the best way to stand out from them.
Understanding your product and its position in the industry will help you to focus the marketing on areas with high potential hence avoid wasting money on unresponsive markets.
It helps in product pricing.
When preparing a market plan, the first goal is to understand the customer and their reason and why they need the product. A marketing plan should define whether it is a luxury item or a basic need and should give directions on the pricing process. With a good marketing plan, you are able to determine what your potential customers can afford to pay for your product.
The plan helps you avoid overpricing or under-pricing your products and services and hence avoid losing customers or money. If you are looking to charge premium prices, your marketing plan should elaborate on the features that will make customers want to pay you more than your competitors.
A marketing plan is vital in ensuring that you understand your product and its benefits to your target market. It helps you empathize with your customers and hence design your products and services to meet their needs. If you have a new innovation for your business, it is important you ensure that you have a marketing strategy in place to lock in your market share before the competitors and imitators come up.
If you are looking to develop an effective marketing plan, feel free to consult with us.