Seriously... think about how you shop for groceries. Are you the impulsive type that runs to the store every few days? Or do you leave the house once a week with an itemized list including coupons? Now think business - are you the type of entrepreneur that makes fast decisions and moves forward knowing that the majority of your decisions are going to be right? Or are you the wary, prudent and deliberate business person who methodically lays out a plan?
Let's explore the parallels!
Shopping List Aka Marketing Plan
A shopping list will typically contain a list of ingredients - it is easy to follow and someone reading your list can get a good understanding of what your meal plans are. A marketing plan should be the same. It should be straight forward and give an incisive look into your business. Keep it simple and have a good complement of ingredients/tactics.
Know what you can afford before you leave the house ... or in the case of your business... know what you can afford before you sign any contracts. The golden rule of grocery shopping is "Never go shopping when you're hungry" and the same holds true in business. Plan your budget once you've defined your goals and have an understanding of your CPA (cost per acquisition).
Look for deals but be wary of the ones that seem too good to be true. Online marketing is measureable and can be tracked through tools like Google Analytics. A frugal shopper will go through the flyers to look for ways to save. You should do the same for your business' online strategy - do your homework and seek out a variety of providers to see which solutions fit.
Grocery Stores And Your Marketplace
There are all kinds of different grocery stores catering to various demographics and geographical areas. Similarly, in building the marketing plan for your business, you need to understand that there are different strategies based on your own target audience and the geographical area you wish to reach. Know who you want to attract and seek to understand how to put your brand in front of them online.
Better Veggies! Know Your Usp!
Grocery stores all have their individual claims as to why they are better... freshness or quality products or price. You need to highlight what you bring to the table as well. Know your USP (unique sales proposition) - and tailor your marketing plan to emphasize that USP. If you have a niche product or service, make sure you research marketing tactics specific to your audience and use that information to build out your plan. For example, if I provide a boat maintenance service, then I should be focusing on targeting the boat enthusiasts or cottage owners on the websites they frequent.
Last morsel for you to chew on....don't be over zealous and put all your eggs in one basket. Be thorough and check your eggs!