The stages of a marketing plan are actually very simple. However if you’ve never done it before and aren’t sure what direction to take, this article will help you. Putting together the stages of a marketing plan very necessary and you’ll need to take your time doing it. Follow each of these steps one-by-one and you’ll be able to do it much easier.
Stage #1: Finding Your Market - First you must figure out the exact target market you want to cater to. In most cases, you’ll probably already know what this is. However what you probably haven’t done is described your ideal customer in specific detail. You’ll need to know the most detailed specifics about this person if you want the most success in “finding” that person to eventually buy your products and/or services.
Stage #2: Positioning Your Business - After you know exactly who your target audience is, you must then figure out how you’re going to position your business. Will you be a lower priced competitor going for higher value? Or maybe a premium priced competitor with lower volume? Remember to always position yourself differently than your competitors. If you’re the same as them, you’ll have a very hard time finding your customers.
Stage #3: Creating Your Product Funnel – After you know who your audience is and how you’re going to position yourself, you need to create a product line. With this, you have two choices, You can either create all your products upfront and hit the ground running, or create one, launch it, and go from there. Either choice is fine. Your product line should include at least three different products/services, hitting the low, middle and high end of the pricing spectrum.
Stage #4: Getting Customers – The next stage of your marketing plan after you’ve created at least one product is getting customers in the door. There are many ways to do this including article marketing (like this article), guest blog posts, forum marketing, posting comments on blogs, paid traffic like Google AdWords or Facebook, joint ventures, and literally hundreds of other ways. I recommend picking the top 3-5 and focusing exclusively on them until your business has gained some momentum.
Stage #5: Growing Your Business - The final stage of a marketing plan is setting the business up for continued growth. To do this, you need to do several things. First is continually educate yourself on how to improve profits in your business. Also, continue to create new products which will be attractive to different areas of the market. And third, if it makes sense, add a few higher-end products and/or services which will improve your profit margins and cater to the most valuable customers.
As you can tell, creating the stages of a marketing plan isn’t very difficult. Many people make it a lot more complicated than it has to be, and that’s why most people get tripped up and never get started. Instead, follow my 5 stages of a marketing plan and you’ll have your business growing and profiting in no time!