It's up to you if you
want to use a detailed marketing plan. The basics mentioned here
are, however, a necessity.
"Know your markets" should
be an obvious principle - yet many businesses have only a fuzzy idea about
this. Usually it's easy to draw a simple map with territories. (Territories
can be geographic and/or defined by special interest). On that map,
you should mark clearly your primary market - the one that feeds
your business right now, and where you probably need more penetration.
Then, choose 2-3 secondary markets - where you would like to expand
For each market, you need
to know two things. First is the "target number". Knowing how many
people are in that market, and considering your most serious competitors,
try to make a realistic guess about the number of potential clients.
Second - find out which are the best marketing vehicles for that market.
Simply ask your current clients what TV channels they like to watch, what
they read, etc. If you are a "business to business" provider, ask
if your clients if they usually open their own mail, or if/how long they
use the Internet or other media. To sum up - find out as much as
possible about the numbers and about the patterns of communication in each
market. If you'd like, we can customize a brief questionnaire for
your customers - at no charge.
These facts should tell
you what marketing channels make sense for the near future and for later
on. Maybe a friend told you about a hot DVD promo, and you'd like
to create a catalog on a disc. Then find out how many current clients
use DVD on a regular basis. When we meet, we can discuss ballpark
prices for different alternatives - so you can decide which ones are indeed
cost-effective for you.
The final step is to orchestrate
the use of different marketing channels, for maximum impact. Here
we'll mention here just an example - a "One-Two Punch" using two powerful
TELEVISION + the INTERNET
If you double your current
business radius, the number of people on your “turf” will increase four
times. Triple the radius - and the population grows nine times!
The area of a circle is 3.14 multiplied by the SQUARE of the radius.
Bad news: most of your potential clients are OUTSIDE of your current business
However, it is not easy
to convince people to drive a few more miles. This is why we suggest
combining today’s best marketing weapons - Television and the Internet.
Television will give
you fast recognition. However, a TV ad cannot communicate complex
information. To get out of their usual shopping routine, people need
some compelling reasons. Communicating those reasons in detail is
the job of the Internet.
A local Internet site
is more powerful than a cold "e-commerce" warehouse from Nebraska.
On your website, people can discover what can be actually seen, touched,
and bought immediately, in their own city!
So why not promote your
locally oriented website on LOCAL TV? This way you can get the best
of what both mediums have to offer. It doesn't cost anything extra
to write a website name in a TV commercial!
Even better - we often
create three commercials for the price of a single one (this is possible
if they are produced at the same time). Why not have one commercial
dedicated only to your website - giving people a good reason to
check it out?
Let's suppose you owned
a grocery store. What if busy moms (and dads) could pre-order groceries
from your site, and find them ready to pick up on the way home? Many
people would drive another mile or two for such a convenience - at least
would! (Incidentally - store employees could take care of such
orders during their "down time"). You can address different niche
markets this way, and conquer them one by one. Maybe your area has
an important ethnic component - how about checklists for organizing parties
with ethnic food? More than 15% of the population is on some kind
of diet at any given time - could you offer them some help through your
website? The list of examples could go on forever. If you had
a small grocery store, a website could offer many opportunities to
outsmart the big supermarket chains. Remember: once it's set up,
a website is virtually free!
It doesn't matter, however,
what business you are in. Different marketing channels can always
be combined to amplify each other's impact.