Starting a new business takes a lot of research and planning. The marketing portion of your business plan is one of the most important parts of your overall business strategy.
Successful marketing methods will turn a customer’s needs into a desire for your product or service.
Identify your Market
Market research is the first step in developing a marketing plan. Determine who your target customers are.
The age, lifestyle and income levels of your prospective customers will have a direct affect on where you spend your advertising dollars. What are your customers looking for? Check trade magazines for statistics and buying trends. Visit your library for local records, published surveys and reports pertaining to your business market.
A neighborhood retail business will market differently than one with an international clientele. Known your target demographic and focus on marketing to them. Investigate your Competition Monitoring the competition is important in all facets of a business, including marketing.
Find out what type of marketing techniques your competitors are using. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and develop new ideas to outshine them. Focus on discovering what value competitors are portraying in their advertising, and attempt to deliver at a higher level.
Pricing your Products or Services
Cutting your price is not always the answer to beating out the competition. Yes, you must compare pricing just like a customer. It is critical that you pay close attention to all costs and price your items profitably. Money spent on research and development is just as important as raw materials and payroll.
You may be tempted to jump in with a lowball price just to get the business but that could be detrimental to the future of your company. Marketing calendars should be planned a year in advance. Budget your advertising dollars throughout the year. Holiday promotions and seasonal sales should be scheduled and well thought out for ultimate exposure.
If your business is a brick and mortar establishment, host a celebration of your new venture. Invite local public figures for a ribbon cutting ceremony and let the media know about it. Local cable television stations, radio and newspapers may provide your business with free publicity that will get you noticed and respected by your community.
Be careful, though. If people are not interested and the turnout is minimal, you’ll be marketing against yourself.