Business Blog No. 9 – Strategic Planning – Sales and Marketing Part 2

This is the second of a 2-part focus on your Sales and Marketing Strategy.

Last week we looked at your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and identified your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Now it is time to share your USP with your potential customers. After all, there is no point having a great USP if nobody knows about it. Remember the old saying “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.” Well that only happens if the world knows about your better mousetrap!

So now it is time to work on your Sales and Marketing strategy. Reflect on your SWOT analysis and USP. With your team, brainstorm who is your ‘ideal’ target customer. What characteristics does your ‘ideal’ target customer have? What industry and market segment are they in? Where are they located? Prioritise those target customers that give you the biggest scope for the most success. Then, most importantly, research their buying process and determine how you can facilitate and influence their process by building awareness of your USP through your Marketing Strategy.

Next, brainstorm questions like: what form will your Marketing Strategy take to create awareness of your USP to your prioritised ideal target customer? Will it be through Advertising? Or Promotions? Or Word Of Mouth? Or Networking Events? Or an Online Strategy? Or Trade Shows? Or Industry Events? Or Cold Calling? Or Public Relations? Or a combination of some or all of the above? Have you got research about what works best from past Marketing plans? If your business is new, try a few things out to see what works best before committing to a specific plan of attack. What do your competitors do and can you differentiate yourselves by doing something different in terms of marketing activity?

Think about the resources you have available and allocated to your marketing activities and decide on the marketing strategy that you think will give you the  biggest return on your investment (remember you are in business to make money first and foremost, not to get your head on the TV)!

Summarise your Marketing Plan. Allocate Budgets to each part of the plan. Ensure enough resources are allocated and that accountabilities and deadline dates are assigned to each action. Map out a review process so you can keep track of your actual results and performance compared to your plan.

So this week, work with your team, to brainstorm your target customers and the associated Marketing Plan to provide a sound foundation for business success.

Come and visit us at our stall at the Smart Manufacturing 16 Expo on May 17.

Smart Manufacturing logo may 2016

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