I recently read Allan Dib’s book, The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money And Stand Out From The Crowd. The book really opened my eyes to a lot of things I was doing wrong. The book provides resources to help create your marketing strategy and is a must-read.
Marketing for Small Businesses
You need to develop an overarching marketing strategy and not just a series of disjointed marketing tactics. Allan Dibs defined marketing tactics as random marketing activities that business owners implement without any clear goals. This week it is a Facebook campaign, next week it may be an ad in the local newspaper. Furthermore, there is rarely any attempt to capture data. Every marketing effort should be tested to determine the return on investment.
Allan Dib urges business owners to develop a marketing strategy that details an overall plan to acquire customers. This plan must consist of constantly measuring and testing to identify which marketing activities are the most effective. Once you have identified what works, you can then allocate more resources. One number every business owner should know is the customer acquisition cost.
Developing Your Marketing Strategy Plan
The 1-Page Marketing Plan breaks the plan into 3 different phases: Before(Prospect), During (Lead) and After (Customer). Each phase consists of 3 parts.
Before spending the first dollar on marketing you have to identify your target market. Identifying your target market will allow you to focus on your advertising dollar. The second step of the prospect phase is to craft a message that will connect with your target audience. What problem is your target audience looking for a solution? Your message should speak to this problem and offer a resolution. What media will you use: direct mail, print ads, online marketing, etc.
It is estimated that only 3%-5% of customers are ready to purchase when they see your advertising. You must have a system in place to capture the contact information of those not ready to buy now. The easiest method is an e-mail capture campaign. However, if you don’t have access to customers online, write the information down and enter it into your database later. Once you have the lead, how are you going to build a relationship? It could be through an e-mail or direct mail follow up sequence. Offer a money back guarantee, this removes the primary blocking point.
After the sale- In some business existing customers represent up to 70% of revenue. Existing customers often get ignored in the hunt for new customers. Nurture your existing customers. Increase the lifetime value of these customers by offering them exclusive discounts and upsells. Lastly, ask your existing customers for referrals. By asking for referrals you are showing the customer that you value them. You should offer referral bonuses to stimulate referrals.
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