by Jeanette Mulvey, BusinessNewsDaily Managing Editor
Knowing where your business is headed is a big part of figuring out how to make it a success. While every startup should have a business plan, it’s a good idea to make sure your business plan includes a separate section on marketing.
A marketing plan can be formal or informal, but it should detail who your customers are, where they get their information and how you’re going to deliver your marketing message to them. While you should seek creative ways to market your business, don’t expect them to work unless you first understand the basics and develop a marketing plan and a marketing strategy.
“The single most important thing for a small business to include in its marketing plan is a very clear understanding of its customers and its competitors,” explained Robert Thomas, professor of marketing at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Thomas says the development of a marketing plan requires four specific tasks:
Those tips are good stepping-stones for businesses, but in reality, companies need to incorporate multiple channels into their marketing plans. Some of the most popular marketing channels for today’s businesses include the following:
Social media has become an essential part of businesses’ marketing plans. Businesses that have yet to realize the opportunities that Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other networks provide them are truly missing out. Even though the concept of social media marketing may overwhelm certain small business owners, the process does not need to be a challenge, as more services and companies are popping up more and more frequently.
Though email marketing may not be as new of a concept as social media marketing, it is just as effective and popular for many small business owners. Companies can implement email-marketing techniques in a number of ways, including newsletters, promotional campaigns and transactional emails, to name a few.
The popularity of smartphones and tablets has helped to change the way companies target their customers. As a result, companies are looking to implement strategies that reach customers on their devices.