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7 Steps to Write a Successful Marketing Plan

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A new year is the time for a new start. For your business, this means planning for the year ahead and implementing new strategies. One way to do this is by creating a marketing plan that will outline your marketing activities for the next year and beyond. Here are 7 steps to follow to create a successful marketing plan:

Prepare a mission statement. Your mission statement briefly outline’s your business’ values and services. Be sure to be authentic when creating this statement as it should be a reflection of your business’ practices.

Determine your audience. Knowing your audience is knowing how to best market them. Do some research and create personas for your target audience or niche market. Use these personas as part of your marketing plan to know how to best reach them.

Describe your services. To effectively market your services, you must be able to describe them. Take inventory of services you currently offer and those you do not but would like to. Then determine what it would take to offer these services in terms of staff, expertise, and costs.

Spell out marketing and promotional strategies. With social media and other channels, there are many options to choose from when it comes to marketing strategies. Use your personas and services to determine which ones are right for you. This is a trial-and-error process that requires testing and interaction with clients or prospective clients.

Know your competitors. With widespread Internet access through smartphones, your business faces a market that is more competitive than ever. To compete, you must learn about your competitors and yourself. Determine your strengths and how you can compare to similar businesses based on value, price, products, services, or some combination of these.

Establish marketing goals that are quantifiable. A successful marketing plan is one with goals in mind. These goals can include the number of new clients you would like to acquire, the number of people you would like to reach, or the amount of income you would like to generate. Be realistic in setting your goals so that they are more attainable.

Monitor your results. Free online analytics programs for both social media and websites make tracking data about your clients easier than ever before. This allows you to better determine how well your marketing strategies are working and who your potential clients are. From there, you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

With these steps in mind, you can create a marketing plan to help you best meet your goals. As your business grows, you can adapt your plan to your needs.

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