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The business action plan continues and here you'll learn the importance of The Marketing Strategy section of a business plan.

"You need a solid plan, a road map, and the courage to execute it.”

Successful marketing campaigns create new business customers. Since the customer is the lifeblood of your business it is highly important that you understand who your customer is and what their specific needs are.

"Never give up integrity and trust for a pithy catchphrase - be honest in advertising always."

Once you have properly identified your customers and what they desire, the next step is to figure out how to best position your service or product in a way that will attract those customers.

There is no magic potion, silver bullet or special template that will tell you the best approach for your business. Instead, you will determine the most effective approach based on the quality of your research and the level of creativity provided by you and your team members.

The marketing strategy needs to be open to regular adjustments. For example, a strategy that works well in the summer may not provide the same results in the winter. A strategy that appeals to one customer segment may put off another. Marketing is complex because it’s a people and behavioral business.

A good marketing strategy in your business action plan will include:

  • Detail on how you intend to penetrate the market
  • Plan for growing the business through sales management practices, new product development, acquisitions, expansion, etc…
  • Explain how your product or service will be distributed efficiently
  • A clearly defined communication strategy that explains how you will interact with potential clients, build and expand current customer relationships and what kinds of marketing materials will be utilized (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Brochures, etc)

It's important that you take the time to get specific in your answers for each of the above areas. The person readin your business action plan will not only expect you to provide detailed information, he will require it - or, he may simple decline your application on the spot for not providing a solid business plan document.

Business Lesson Plan #10 / Effective Advertising

"I would just as soon think of doing business without clerks as without advertising."
- John Wanamaker

Too many young businessmen and women fail because they do not know how to advertise effectively.

Too often, money is thrown away because ads are produced that lack any sort of pull to the customer. No personal connection is made. The customer does not respond to text that lacks any sort of emotion.

A good advertisement talks; it does not scream “buy me” but it does pull the customer through a subtle, yet effective, explanation of how your service or product will benefit the reader. The pitch may be two paragraphs or two words, whatever is necessary to make the point effectively.

"To achieve excellence in business, your brand must be true and consistent. You must deliver!"

The time is long gone when a business can simply put their name out and expect an immediate response. Today marketing is necessary in order to survive and because of its importance, marketing has become a fine art that every business person should seek to master. This is a key item for your business action plan.

The most effective advertising concentrates on some specialty. Identify how your product or service is special. Make certain you can deliver on your promise as the most profitable advertising is word of mouth.

On a daily basis, you must deliver on your promise. Guard your reputation firmly against any possible slander. Hold your employees accountable to the same promise to the customer. Hire only those who you are willing to entrust your reputation to.

Your customers want to know exactly what they will get for their hard-earned dollars. Nothing else in the way of attractive marketing or pithy statements will ever take the place of the truthful facts you present in your advertising.

Stay true to your word and your customer will remain true to you.

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Next Business Plan Resource Chapters

» Sales Management

» Business Resources

» PART V - The Service or Product Offer

"If you are going to accomplish big things, you must develop strong habits in little matters."

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