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Planning for success: Why a marketing plan matters

It seems to be a universally accepted truth that to achieve something of significance, a plan is required. Sure, some great accomplishments may have required the most rudimentary form of planning, a simple 'do this, then this, to acheive this ', but a clear course of action was still laid out and followed to some degree.

The importance of planning is probably more apparent in the world of business than anywhere else and is often the factor that separates an average business from a great business. If you’re a business owner in the early stages of starting or running your company, you’ve most likely developed a business plan somewhere along the way. You’ve got a clear idea of what your business is, how it will be run and the awesome products or services you’ll offer. You’ve probably also given some thought to how you’ll market your offering, but it’s vital that you make sure that this is something you’ve carefully considered and mapped out: a marketing plan can make or break a business.

 A marketing plan is, at its most basic level, an outline of the proposed marketing efforts of your business, laying out your marketing objectives and the proposed activities, costs and timings to achieve said objectives.

 A marketing plan will generally be centered around the 4 Ps: product, price, promotion and place:

Product

This dimension focuses on your product/service offering. What is it and who is going to buy it? What makes it unique and better than the competition (Unique Selling Proposition – USP)? How are you going to highlight these points in your marketing activities?

Price

This looks at your pricing strategy for your offering. Are you going to sell bulk volume to achieve economies of scale and keep the price low? Will you market your offering to a niche, premium market at a higher price, leveraging the concept of scarcity?

Promotion

This looks at how you will advertise your product/service. Which channels will you use? (Remember, it’s essential that your business gets with the times and makes use of contemporary digital marketing channels and social media. If you stick to print, TV etc. you’ll soon find the world – and your target market – has moved on without you!) How will you package your product? Where will you position your product/service in the broader marketplace and what is the key benefit or value-add it offers your potential customers?

Place

This will focus on how you distribute your product/service and which markets you access in pursuit of this. Will you make use of retail stores or direct marketing? Will the product/service be limited to a geographical area?

 In addition to the 4 Ps, a marketing plan may also incorporate elements such as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis, competitor analysis and other valuable tools, based on your requirements.

 Trying to conceptualise and quantify all of the above as well as numerous other dimensions and elements in a marketing plan can be intimidating and result in many a sleepless night for the new business owner.

 Sometimes you need to swallow your pride and know when to seek help.

Fresh has years of experiencing in developing and implementing custom marketing plans and strategies and we would love to help you take your business to the next level and conquer your market! Why waste your time and resources developing a marketing plan in isolation when you can leverage our skills and experience to develop a plan that is uniquely tailored to your business and objectives, based on meticulous research, insight-driven strategy and in-depth market analysis?

 Make the Fresh choice and contact us today!