The Misconception Known As Marketing: 5 Essential Elements of a Solid Marketing Plan

Blog LogoWhat is marketing?

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While marketing is probably the most important aspect of your business, it is also the most neglected. If you want to grow as a business, you have to understand a little bit about what marketing really means before you can harness its power.

Here are the 5 essential elements of a solid marketing plan

1) Coming up with awesome Facebook posts is fun, developing an attractive advertisement for the newspaper is fun, and filming hilarious promotional videos for your YouTube page will prove to be a killer time! But the reality is, if you don’t test, track, and repeat, you have no idea if what you are doing is working. The fun might come to an end if your business closes because your marketing was way off target. Develop methods to track your campaigns. Use promo codes, keywords, and numbering systems to monitor conversion rates. Real marketing is all about analysis.

2) Understanding your customer is pivotal. A sick obsession is often required in order to get into the depths of their wants, desires and fears. Every new piece of information you gather on John or Jane will mean a more streamlined marketing approach that results in a higher return on your investment. Listen to what they are saying when engaged in small talk. Do they have similar problems, complaints, or dreams? Take notes, and document your findings no matter how small or insignificant you may think they are. Look for trends and repeats. Leverage that information and build your advertising around those similarities.

3) Know who your competition is. I use the term “competition” loosely because I firmly believe that no single person should be viewed as a competitor. If they are doing something better than you, it’s a smart idea to either team up with them, or copy what they are doing. I might have to take my shoes off to count the number of times I am told by a business owner that they want to implement a certain marketing strategy, but their competitor has already done it. My response is always, “Who cares!” If it worked for them, it will more than likely work for you! Put a personal twist on it, and roll the dice. The world is full of innovators, but there are very few “new” ideas

4) Are you equipped to handle the massive influx of customers? If a quality marketing campaign gains some traction, you are going to increase customer traffic. That is the desired result of any marketing strategy. It dosen’t matter if you are a brick and mortar, or online based business, you have to prepare for the storm. Take the proper steps to ensure you have the ability to handle the customer’s demands. Increase manning, restock the shelves and hold a team meeting so everyone understands what is expected of them. Not every effort is going to yield this type of result, but an ounce of preparation is better than a pound of reaction.

5) The last element is probably the most critical. Without it, none of the top four even matter. Your attitude must be congruent in all your marketing and advertising. Nothing bums me out more than visiting a business whose advertising portrayed them as a fun, hip awesome place to visit, and when I arrive I am greeted by Eeyore at the counter! An emotionless drone that doesn’t even take the time to acknowledge me as a new customer. If you are going to represent yourself as a cutting edge, trendy business, your attitude better reflect the same. Take the time to document your desired attitude on paper. List all the traits that make your business standout. Convert those into emotions, and educate your employees on the importance of putting on a “happy face” even when they don’t feel like it. Your customer doesn’t care that you are having a bad day. They want to enjoy the experience.  A genuine smile is always worth a 5 star review. Don’t leave yours at home!

What I just gave you merely scratches the surface. Marketing is a lifestyle that you need to live for awhile until you completely understand the massive impact it will have on your business once perfected.

I am going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes. I believe that you are capable of greatness. As long as you are doing what you love, there are absolutely no limits to your genius! ~Andy

 Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” ~Albert Einstein

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