Hey ya'll, we are getting down to the end of the "must have" marketing plan items so here is a fun one for you to start working on. If you've been following along and doing each step week by week, you should know that the marketing mix has 4 parts. So feel free to do one part a week.
In marketing, the marketing mix is often called the 4 P's. The P's stand for Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. In total the marketing mix is the unique blend your business uses of these 4 P's. While each of the P's is it's own individual category, it's the way they are blended together that gives the marketing manager optimal results.
For example, if I where selling bananas (product) for $0.66/lb (price) or $0.44/lb on sale (promotion) but you had to go to Brazil (place) to get them. American consumers would say this isn't and optimal blend and they wouldn't purchase bananas.
When starting your marketing mix, we typically start with product, because without a product you don't have anything to sell. It's sort of the heart of your business ;) wouldn't you agree. The most commonly overlooked things when thinking about your product are: packaging, after-sale service, branding, image, warranty, and value. So be sure to take a beat and think about everything that goes into your product. Not just the product itself.
As I talked about in the above example place is an important piece of the marketing mix puzzle. I won't rehash, but picking a place that makes sense for your product and to your clients is key. Don't forget to thinking about where your product will be made, stored, shipped to and from, where the raw materials come from and where the finished product will be sold.
Next up is Promotion Strategies. There are sooooo many promotion strategies this could be a blog post/newsletter or 10 all to itself. For the purposes of this overview what you should consider is how you will sell and promote your product to you target market. What tactics and channels you'll use and if you'll have any specials or sales.
Finally, Pricing. In simple terms price is the amount of money that a buyer gives up to get your product. Price can be super flexible and can change as often as it needs to. You can offer a sale if you want. In the fourth quadrant you'll want to include what your base price will be if you sell a product with buy up options and then think about what the range or price of those options will be.
You can also use pricing to discourage people from purchase your product so if your low on product and waiting on a shipment increase the price some to slow the number of purchases you'll get. If you follow some of the well selling items on Amazon.com your likely to see this tactic uses by may of the top drop-shippers.
What every you do, don't forget to account for overhead and taxes. You don't want those coming out of your pocket in the end.
So I think I've given you a ton to think about when it comes to marketing mix. Remember, you're doing this for the Target Market you just identified so you want the experience to be good for all involved. If you're Target Market has low income, you won't want to price your product with a high price point.
Now, get out there and start creating your perfect marketing mix blend.
OK, so if you've read any of my Facebook posts or even some of my emails you should know by now that it's so, so, so important to know your Target Market. Sometimes I think it's more important then knowing your product. That's not really true, but it's sort of a give and take. If the market your targeting isn't the one that needs, wants, or is willing to pay for your product or service then you need to adjust one or the other so that they are a match. Otherwise, you're not going to get very far. It doesn't matter what you do.
What that means is that as business owners we should have an idea of what are target market is and what are product or service is, but now we need to take some steps to make them gel. Be prepared to make changes to either one of these or both until you find the perfect connection.
Step 1 - Given the product or service you are planning on selling, and thinking about your target market as if it was one or two actual people, what do you know about them? Here you're starting to create your Target Avatar (you know like the video games). So get out your pen and paper and get to creating. Here are some questions to get you started:
What does this person look like?
Are they male or female?
What level of education do they have?
Where do they live?
How much money do they make?
How old are they?
What kind of work do they do?
Do they have a family, a relationship, or are they single?
What do they like to read, where do they shop and visit?
What groups or clubs are they part of?
You get the idea. This is more then an overview. Dig down into what this person does and where you find them.
Step 2 - Once you know who your are looking for, you need to see if people are looking for you and what you're selling. You don't need to have all of these, to validate your idea, but having a few that can give you that feeling of justification of your business idea and will really help you figure out your target market.
2a - Look for where you're product or service is being sold and see if you can find any evidence that people are buying it. For a digital course it might mean going to www.Teachable.com and checking out what kind of classes are available and how much much they are sell and at what price points. Or you can look in Facebook groups or at comments on these sales pages. You might find that similar classes are being sold for higher dollar amounts, indicating that your target market has bigger bucks to spend. Reading the comments will help you understand what your target market's biggest pain points are too.
2b - Check www.Amazon.com. When you go on to Amazon, people share what they liked and didn't like about the media and books they buy. Try to find a few with high sales and check out what the reviews are saying. What can you take away from this research? This time with your target markets pain points you can fine tune your product, as needed, or come to the realization that your target market might not be who you thought and then choose to tweak it.
2c - Check Alltop.com for all the top blogs in a particular industry/category. Find blogs with Facebook pages associated them and check the audience insights inside your page ad manager. Here you'll learn more about the followers of a particular company (one that is similar to what you're aiming to be). It's not cheating! It's research.
3. Lastly, to find out more about your target market. Ask! You can join Facebook or networking groups and ask people what they think about what your offering or planing to offer. Some people will be willing to fill out a quick thoughtful survey of have a 5 -15 minute phone call, especially if they are part of your target market. Ask them everything you can and once you have done all 3 steps you will have a pretty solid understanding of who your target market is.
Once you do, don't forget to write it up and add it to you marketing plan. You're so close to having a killer marketing plan that gives you the confidence that you need to make the right decisions for your business.
Recently someone asked me if there was one thing that I, as a marketing person would tell them about marketing what would it be?
I thought for a minute and then I told them the most important thing you need to know as a marketer is who your target market it! Of course, that's after you know what product or service you are selling! It's impossible to sell, or create a strategy, a campaign, or know who or how to market if you don't know who you are marketing to.
See, it the old days of marketing it was more about being seen in general, now we have micro-niches, that really fine-tune who our ideal client avatar (also a newer term) is. So there you have it, know your target market and you'll be all set. No, just kidding! But having that information is super, super important. In fact, it's one of the steps in creating a marketing plan which is the starting place for creating your marketing strategy.
Let's back up a step, creating your marketing plan is like the overarching marketing approach or overview if you will of how your business is going to approach marketing. Once you have a marketing plan then you can think more about the strategy or the approach to getting the things on that plan to happen. It's like setting a goal and then reverse engineering it down to the actionable level so that you can make the goal a reality.
A Marketing Plan and Strategy go hand in hand. And they are a living document. Please, please, please don't do a marketing plan and then not look at again for 5 years or even for 1 year. For it to be effective you need to keep checking in on it.
You may be wondering why do I need a marketing plan for my business: so here are 3 reasons your small business needs a marketing plan/strategy:
1) A marketing plan/strategy tells you and your employees where you want to go. Even though the plan is a living document it still set for a definite amount of time. It's a road map to getting your business to move towards your goal and helps everyone get on the same page. In case you get hit by a bus or something. 😉
2) It can help you secure funding. Even if you are not going for funding now, it's import to understand that you may want to in the future and that funders will need to understand how you plan to repay them. Being able to provide a document that shows that you have thought it out and have developed a plan to do that is key in funders eyes.
3) It helps you evaluate new opportunities. Now just because the plan is a living document doesn't mean you should be changing it around every day. Having a marketing plan/strategy in place helps you make a decision when a new opportunity pops up. Say someone calls you out of the blue and asks you to speak at their conference where they are expecting 1000 small business owners to be in attendance. This sounds like an amazing opportunity, but let's take a look at how it fits into your plan.
Do you have anything in your plan about wanting to be a speaker? Is your target market a small business owner or do you help stay at home moms? Compare the opportunity to what your plan is and ask yourself how does this help me reach my goal? Maybe it's just something that needs to wait until next year, or it maybe it's not something that is right for your business at all!
There you have it, the first steps to thinking about marketing strategy and planning. What other ways have you found that marketing planning has been beneficial? Pop over to my Facebook page and let me know.
Why You Should Use Royalty-Free Music For Small Business
The right song can make or break a video. The music tells you how to feel about what's happening! If the Jaws theme song was playing as you were about to go for a nice swim in the ocean, wouldn't it make you think twice? So having the right music is everything! But who has hours to sit and listen to clips just to find THE ONE? No one! It can take hours and sometimes days to find what you're looking for. So that's why we suggest building your own library of music when you find THE ONEs you like.
In case you're new to using royalty-free music for small business videos royalty-free (RF) means that copyrighted material I.e. the music, can be used without having to pay a royalty each time it's used.
The creators of the music don't need it, they create to create or to earn income from their amazing work, but when we marketer and small business owners put it together with visual images or make a video that's when the music really tells a complete story.
It's important that the music you use in your videos is royalty-free either with a credit or without because you don't want someone to come back after you for stealing their creation. You could end up in a lawsuit and/or having to pay out thousands of dollars. So whether you decide to use credit required music or just buy it outright you have to know what you're allowed to do with the music.
Don't get caught having to pay more then you need to, pick RF music and use it the right way.
Wondering What the Pros Do When It Comes To Marketing Time Management Let's face it, you didn't start your small business to do marketing. You may have started it because you what to help people, solve a problem, or change the world. Whatever the reason I can almost guarantee that it was for love. The love of your passion!
So if you don't love marketing (I can't understand it myself 😉) then marketing becomes a chore. And nobody likes chores. Flashing back to my twelve-year-old self having to dust and vacuum the living room here. So how can you use your time more effectively?
Here are 3 things that the pros do when it comes to marketing time management tips.
1) Time Block. You've heard of time blocking before and blocking out time for marketing is no different. But don't just block time on your calendar and label it marketing. Look at your strategy and reverse engineer what you need to do to make that launch happen, or get that event to go off without a hitch. Now start blocking off time. Be sure to put in specific labels. Marketing doesn't tell you what you're working on. "Newsletters" though tells me what to do when my reminder goes off. You can even say Newsletters for September if that helps you focus.
2) Investment In Marketing Education, Training, and Skill Development. Who's done this....I don't have time to tell someone how to do this I will just do it myself? What about this one...I probably should take that class, but I just don't have the time/money/interest to do it. We all know that education and training for yourself or your team is a vital part of creating an effective team. If you're ready to hand off your marketing project but you don't have time to train your replacement (why do we always think we have to do everything ourselves), my suggestion is to do a video of your screen while you're working on the project. Then your team will always have the video to refer back to. Spending time on training and education is an investment in your business, not a wasted expense.
3) Don't Waste Time On Things That Aren't Working. Each small business is unique and what works for one might not work for the other. Don't worry if things aren't working. If you need more time to work out the kinks go for it, but if something is really not getting the best marketing return on your investment, be ruthless, and cut it out! As Uncle Joey would say on Full House.
Your time is valuable don't waste it! Try these few time management marketing strategies today and see what works for you.
Five Lessons From The 2nd Biggest Marketing event of the year...It's Back to School time (B2S) and that means shopping of course! I'm teaching a class at the local university and even I went back to school shopping this year. By now if you're a back to school shopper you're probably done with clothes and shoes and you might be into or just finishing the list is additional school supplies. How do we know where to go for our back to school products? It might be the store local to you, it might be the place that your parents always took you when you were growing up, but it's also likely that it's the place the marketers tell us to go!
Outside of Christmas, Back to School is big! It just is! So here are 5 lessons for marketing for back to school.
1) Online "holiday/event" or real-life holiday/event it doesn't matter, you can still use this event to promote, sell, and share. If you're not in a traditional B2S industry, get creative about your marketing. Or just jump on the bandwagon and say you're celebrating this year. Just make sure you know your marketing strategies for back to school before you jump in.
2) Leverage the (#) hashtag. Make sure any digital marketing you do for B2S includes the #backtoschool hashtag and other relevant hashtags. Don't forget to use you're branded hashtag! Go ahead and join the conversation. #helpingsmallbusinessesgethitononline
3)Look at your product selling history to identify the product trends for back to school and then boost sales by doing live, video demonstrations, or sharing graphics about how your product fits into peoples school lives.
4) B2S is all about kids. If you have a kid-friendly product get kids involved in your campaigns. If your product or service is adult-focused build campaigns around phases like " young at heart" "you're never too old for back to school", etc.
5) Generate buzz with giveaways. Who doesn't LOVE a free giveaway? Create online contests to get consumers excited about your product or service.
What is your best B2S product or service and how did you market it this year? Pop over to my FB page and share what you did with the small business community.