Marketing is one of the key components of a successful business, and without question, most entrepreneurs and small business owners are not marketing nearly enough. Marketing is often confused with Sales, but they’re really two different things. For sales to be realized, effective marketing must take place first.
What is Marketing?
The American Marketing Association defines Marketing as:
“… the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
The definition by Wikipedia is a little more complex, but really sums up, in a few short sentences, what you need to know about marketing your business, and how it can be done effectively to meet the needs of your target market and your business.
“Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.
Marketing can be looked at as an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, delivering and communicating value to customers, and customer relationship management that also benefits the organization. Marketing is the science of choosing target markets through market analysis and market segmentation, as well as understanding consumer behavior and providing superior customer value. From a societal point of view, marketing is the link between a society’s material requirements and its economic patterns of response. Marketing satisfies these needs and wants through exchange processes and building long term relationships.”
Why You Need Marketing Plan
Whether you’re just starting a business or have been in business for a while, it takes an investment in time, energy, and financial resources. These are basically your most important resources, and you would not want to squander them by approaching your business without a goal, a plan and strategies to achieve those goals.
Your marketing plan, not to be confused with a business plan, is a roadmap or path for one of the key components of your business – marketing. It helps you refine your strategies and maximize your efforts to get your products and services in front of the right people who will then want to buy what you have to offer.
Frankly, when I started my online business, I did not have a marketing plan. I only knew I wanted to get more visibility for the business I did at the time, and as a result I wasted a lot of time and money. I don’t want that to happen to you, or if it has already happened, you can put an end to it.
What are the Components of a Successful Marketing Plan?
In order to complete a successful marketing plan, there are three essential components you must get right. You have to do your research, know what’s involved in your marketing mix – the strategies and tactics you will implement, and always, always monitor your results. This is the only way you’ll know if you’re achieving the desired results; if not, where you need to make changes.
I’ll go into more details about those essential components in upcoming blog posts. In the meantime, if you have questions or need help with your marketing plan, you’re invited to send me an email through my contact form.