Why Do I Need a Marketing Plan?

First, you will need to have a strong desire to be successful because all successful companies have a well planned and executed marketing plan. Many components comprise their marketing plans and they may vary depending upon whether you are a B2B company, B2C company, a manufacturer, a retailer, a service company, a reseller, a non- profit or other specialty business.

Marketing Research will be the first component for your marketing plan. You may be doing this in house or you may elect to hire a top marketing agency, a marketing consultant, or maybe a specific marketing research firm. You need to obtain and capture all data about your business along with your products and services to help you properly facilitate any potential marketing problems. You may also be able to get some marketing data from an industry trade association or from other businesses within your specific industry.

Most of your marketing research will fit into 5 or 6 categories: Surveys, Focus Groups, Interviews, Observations, Secondary Research, or Experiments/Field Trials. We will not go into specifics for each research category on this particular blog.

Regardless of the marketing research methods that are used, you need to uncover who your customers are or will be, you need to uncover what the demand is for your products or services, you need to know every competitor in the marketplace, and you need to know the market share for each company in your industry categories.

Once you have completed your marketing research, you will then be ready to start developing your marketing plan. We will discuss marketing plan components that will fall more general in scope as opposed to focusing on a specific niche category for a business.

  1. You will need an Executive Summary to give a brief synopsis to summarize your marketing plan contents.
  2. You will need to define your goals and objectives. We always encourage companies to make their goals S.M.A.R.T. which means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive with dates attached. Most goals are calculated on an annual basis. However, the more ambitious owners or executives will look ahead at 3, 5, and 10 year goals as well. And if you are in Japan, you will be setting 100 year goals.
  3. You will need to develop or define important information about your company. In your business plan, you should have developed a Mission Statement, a Vision Statement, and a Culture Statement. If you did not develop these three items, you must create them immediately before continuing onward. It is vitally important that everyone knows about and buys in to these three company statements with all employee staff so that every person inside the business will communicate these items correctly to all external people outside of the business. You want their belief and confidence as high as the owners or top executives.
  4. You need to know everything obtainable about your customers. This list will get you started. You will need their age, sex, marital status, income levels, education levels, geographic locations, where they shop, if they go to church, if they have kids, ages of children, political affiliation, what they like about your company, what they don’t like, why they shop with you, what they value about your products/services, what they like the most/least about products/services, and whether prospects are unaware of your brand or products/services. Customers want you to know certain things about them and if you do, they will remain loyal to you as you take time to know them.
  5. You must know your competition in and out. Keep your friends close, but keep your competitors closer. You need to know all the things that you learned about your customers except fill in the blank for each competitor on all of those above items. Learn how you are the same/ different. Learn the similarities/differences about each product and service you offer. Learn how they sell or promote their products /services.
  6. You need to define your location with a description of all advantages and disadvantages. I would include the operating hours and scheduling in this section.
  7. You must develop a unique selling point for your business. You will need to provide details about every product/service that you provide and give their features/benefits/values.
  8. You need to itemize your budget with breakdowns for advertising and promotions. Include any design, development for needed materials to facilitate the marketing. List the media outlets that will be used to execute your marketing plan and break out the online, social, e-mail marketing, e-brochures/e-catalogs, TV, print, radio, PR, tradeshows, sponsorships, philanthropic partnerships, direct-mail, telemarketing, and other outlets. I would also identify which components that will be completed in house and whether you will have an outside agency to help with your media buying and planning.
  9. You will need to develop your pricing strategies for all of your products and services. Do you want to be higher or lower versus competitors? Do you plan to include labor/overhead/materials in costs? Be sure to list your pricing strategy for each product or service

A comprehensive marketing strategy will ensure your success because it will tell you how to obtain and keep customers, how to compete in your marketplace, and what resources you will use to achieve your goals and objectives.

Develop an MLM Marketing Plan

Most people that start a venture in network marketing do not succeed. I am not trying to start off with bad news it is just a fact of the business. I personally believe that one of the main reasons that most people fail is that they never took the time to develop an MLM marketing plan. This is actually true of just about all business models.

I know that most new recruits are told to make that first list quickly and introduce everyone you know to the opportunity. This is the basic old school marketing plan for MLM and it is no longer practical. The problem is this sets the new recruits up to be rejected by people they actually care about, and continuous rejection usually results in the newbie quitting before they ever got very deep into the business.

Okay, now for the good news. Thanks to the internet, everyone now has access to the global economy. Also through the use of lead generation pages, niche websites, social networking, video marketing, and much more, it is actually relatively easy to introduce your opportunity to the global market and have those that are interested contact you. Yes, people interested in the opportunity actually contact you. This is called warm prospecting or warm recruiting because those that contact you are already interested you just have to close the deal and help them get started.

Now for the good stuff. I am going to tell you how to set up a modern MLM marketing plan that actually works for you 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

The first thing is to find a high quality network marketed product or service that you can be passionate about. Being passionate about it makes it much easier to stick with long enough to really learn about it and see the benefits. Your passion will be felt by those you talk to about your opportunity. Personally I am passionate about health and nutrition. That is why I market what I consider to be the highest quality nutritional products available.

Next determine who your market really is. You may end up having two market demographics: one for the product and one for the opportunity. Develop a market plan for each demographic. Not everyone is an entrepreneur but they may still be interested in the product. This is why quality is key. The product has to be able to stand on its own without the opportunity. Not everyone is going to be interested in the product. Try to narrow down the demographics of those that would be interested so that you can communicate more receptively with your market.

Finally, get online. This is the most essential part of the MLM marketing plan. There are just so many ways to get a product and opportunity in front of thousands of people and create interest. The key here is to use a website or lead capture page to funnel traffic to using multiple marketing channels. This website or lead capture page needs to provide enough information to get the prospect interested enough to fill out a contact form or call you.

The multiple marketing channels that I am talking about are article marketing, forum marketing, pay per click marketing, social network marketing, business card marketing, blogs and video marketing.

Determine the following and hold yourself accountable:

  • How many articles you are going to write each week?
  • How often you are going to update your social networking fan page?
  • How many posts will you blog each week?
  • How many business cards will you give out each day?
  • How many instructional videos will you create each month?

Now that the marketing side of the plan is established decide how you are going to fallow up with leads. What information will you be providing on the fist contact? How long will you wait for the second contact and close? What do you need from the prospect to get them started? Are they interested in being a customer or team member?

You get the point. When a warm prospect contacts you, know ahead of time what you are going to do. It may take some time and a little trial and error to really get this part down but the idea is to have a plan. It is okay to modify that plan when need be but it is much easier to take action when you have a plan to stick to.

Here is the most important thing. Once you have created your plan, share it with everyone in your network. The only way to become successful in network marketing is to help others become successful.

It is easy to see how important it is to have a plan. Always remember… Those that do not have a plan, plan to fail.

Developing Your Balanced Marketing Plan For Lead Generation

Leads are the fuel that feeds the fire for all of our business developments. When they are not coming into your business funnel, your marketing plan is more than likely at fault. This article is all about fixing this through designing and implementing a structured 90 day plan. You will learn why you need this plan, the importance of a balanced free and paid marketing plan, planning your day and the power of focusing on one strategy for your 90 day plan.

Distractions are most of the time our number one enemy when it comes to any type of plan of action. It even starts with the daily attack of all “the new, great and guaranteed to get you results” emails in your inbox every morning! Your marketing plan, which should be structured within a 90 day time frame, is really the most important component of your business. All successful marketers work off of some kind of plan created to help them track progress and have discipline. I am currently in the process or making my second 90 day plan which will be very different from the first. Why? I have learned so much since the first and by the third plan it should look different from the second.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this. Truth is, the more the better as this is a fundamental truth to any success we plan on having. I found that most people fail when they dabble in too many marketing strategies instead of mastering just one or two proven strategies. I found this true with myself as I needed to narrow my focus to get results and not be all over the place. I would suggest selecting one or two marketing strategies and spend the next 90 days becoming a master at them. Two good examples might be video marketing and article marketing. Both are not only cheap but fun!

Designing your marketing campaign using only paid marketing strategies is not a good idea. Most new marketers did what I almost did and that is spending one’s self out of the “game”. Remember, it will take time to reach the right conversion metrics on any single marketing strategy. That’s why your 90 day plan is so important! You need the time to master the skill to get the results you need to grow your business. You can then move on and master another strategy. If you are using only paid strategies you will limit yourself to what you can accomplish using free marketing strategies. Don’t buy it when you are told free marketing strategies equate to sub-par results. That is simply not true. I personally have generated more leads using free marketing strategies and so can you! Bottom line, you never have to worry about your advertising budget when you are generating leads for free!

Truth is just about every marketing strategy works. But you won’t see results in a time period of only two weeks. Here is a quick break down of a 90 day plan with month number six in mind with a goal:

  1. First month is testing and learning with a small budget.
  2. Month two brings a winning campaign or two that you are getting results and working to master.
  3. The third month you will have a number of winning campaigns with profitable ad groups that keep converting better and better.
  4. Month six equals two completed 90 day plans. Now you could be and should be at about 200 leads per week converting at a good percentage.

You want to reach the three pillars of Jedi Marketing Mastery. This is going from good, to great and landing on mastery of your selected marketing strategies. Reaching “great” is a good time to introduce another strategy to your plan if desired. Please be sure you think it through and know it is in your best interest to start another marketing “project”. It takes patience and persistence to become a Jedi Marketing Master of anything. You will make mistakes and will have to overcome obstacles and challenges. That comes with the territory and you must remember those who become masters are unstoppable in their mission to mastery.

A 90 day plan can only be set up and used by you. You and I both know there are many tools to use to organize our day to stay on track. I can tell you a secret that you probably don’t know. The secret is to focus on one type of marketing strategy per day. For example, the allotted time you set for your daily marketing might be one four hour slot or two slots of two hours each. Select and focus on one marketing strategy for the day. Don’t do video marketing for two hours, one hour to write an article and the last hour to create a pay-per-click campaign online. You are too scattered and your results at best will be scattered.

In conclusion, my hope is you got something from this to move you to create your 90 day plan. Once again, it won’t be perfect and is not supposed to be. In fact it will be down right challenging at first. All successful marketers must go through this and learn for themselves what their 90 day plan will look like. They then adjust and fine tune it until it serves them and their business. Best of luck to you in you 90 day plan and marketing strategies!