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Before you start spending money on radio ads, blog content, and a professional website, your company should have a solid marketing plan in place. Many businesses waste valuable advertising dollars because they fail to understand their audiences and what customers really want. Without understanding what features and selling points will really get a customer’s attention—and what medium is most likely to attract the customer—your company can miss important conversion opportunities.

Great marketing plans should include strategies for finding, attracting, and maintaining customers; ideas to help you compete with other companies in your field; budget plans and spending outlines; and an honest look at your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Use these five questions to begin defining your marketing strategy and planning for your company’s future.

1. What are your goals? What do you hope to get out of your marketing campaign? Create several clear, measurable objectives and set timelines for each to be completed. Consider whether you’re hoping to make a specific number of sales, get a particular number of people to sign up for your email list, or develop a predetermined amount of qualified leads. As you create your goals, look for ways that they complement one another and organize them into a structured plan.

2. Who are your ideal customers? Before you can market anything effectively, you must know who your customers are and what they want. Think about your target customer and what he or she is like—considering factors like age, income level, profession, family, and education. As you get to know your ideal customer, you can start thinking about what will draw him or her to your product. What features are most appealing? Why should he or she choose your company?

3. What businesses is your company competing against? Identify several of your top competitors and consider each company’s strengths and weaknesses. Next, match your product or service up with theirs and see how they stack up. You need to be aware of the areas where your product falls behind so that you can plan to tackle such comparisons effectively down the line.

4. What makes your company unique? Now that you’ve identified the similarities and differences between your company’s product and products from competitors, start thinking about the unique qualities that set you apart. Look at the features you can offer that other companies don’t and create a unique selling proposition (USP)—the point that will help consumers identify and choose your brand over others.

5. What does your product or service do? You already know your products and services like the back of your hand, but now is the time to figure out how you would describe it to someone else if you only had 30 seconds. Often referred to as an “elevator pitch,” this brief description should highlight the most basic description of what you have to offer and the key features that make it different from other products and services. If someone asked you to describe what your company does in three sentences or less, what would you say?

A clear, thorough marketing plan that carefully considers your company’s identity and your short and long-term goals is essential to your overall success. At Red Crow Marketing, we can help you answer the tough questions and identify the best features of your brand. We’ll develop an effective strategy that fits your budget and your needs—and, most importantly, we’ll help you put it into practice. To find out more about our wide range of marketing services, contact us today or give us a call us at 417-889-1658. We’re eager to see you succeed—and our marketing knowledge and experience can help you reach the top.

 

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