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Marketing Ideas

Map out your marketing plan for your business

By Wendy Kenney

With everything that needs to get done in your business every day, marketing becomes more of an afterthought than an intention. However, marketing is one of the most important activities that a small business owner can do.  Here are some tips for mapping out a quick and easy marketing plan that will help you get ahead of the curve in the New Year.

  1. Map it Out: On a plain piece of paper, layout three columns across and 12 rows down.  Label each row by month, starting with January.  Label column one “Opportunities,” label column two “Promotions,” and label column three “Broadcast Methods.”
  2. Identify the Opportunities: In column one, next to each month, write down the one or two opportunities to increase traffic.  These opportunities could be traditional holidays such as Valentine’s Day, events unique to your business such as your anniversary, or unusual holidays such as National Spaghetti Day, which is on January 4th.
  3. Identify the Promotion:  People have many choices so how can you increase your chances of them choosing to spend money with you? It’s simple; run a limited time promotion.   For example, tap into the New Year’s hype by running a contest or introducing a New Year’s promotion or special. Running a promotion doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive; it can be as simple as packaging up your most requested product or service into a “New Year’s” sale package. The idea is to come up with something new that your customer would be interested in. Write down your promotion for the month in column two next to the appropriate month.
  4. Identify the Broadcast Method: Once you’ve decided what promotions that you are going to run, you need to decide on how you’re going to get the word out. The key to success in broadcasting your promotion is knowing how many potential new customers the broadcast method reaches. For example, television ads reach thousands of people; however, they can be very expensive.  Social media channels can such as Facebook can be inexpensive, but have a very small reach.  It’s important in broadcasting your message is to choose multiple media to reach people wherever they may be connected.  For many small businesses email newsletters can be a very effective and inexpensive means of broadcasting your message.  Write down the broadcast methods you have chosen in column three.
  5. Implement the Marketing Plan: Once you have the done all of the above, then it’s time to implement.  If you’re a business owner with more responsibilities than time, this might be a good time to delegate the broadcast marketing responsibilities to a media savvy manager or other employee.

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