Marketing is a critical component for the success of any business. It is the heart of all business activities and serves the vital role of transforming productive activities to financial performance. Therefore, personal marketing ensures that your business survives.
Marketing is a critical function regardless of the type of your business including agriculture. Despite this, we have so many business owners who still ignore to develop personal marketing plans. You should strive to produce what you can sell and not sell what you can produce.
Other famous entrepreneurs will tell you that they have not time to develop a marketing plan. The challenge of this is that it will have adverse effects on the profitability of your business. both small and big businesses require a personal marketing strategy.
This article will help you to understand what is a personal marketing plan and why it is important. The next section is a step by step guide on how to develop a personal marketing plan. You can get more insights by looking at a personal marketing plan example.
What is a Marketing Plan?
Most people define marketing as advertising or selling. The truth of the matter is that marketing goes beyond advertising and selling. When you concentrate on closing a deal or just selling, it will not make sure that you develop a long-term clientele base.
Marketing entails discovering and satisfying the wants and needs of your customers as you make a profit. It means that you have to attract and retain customers. To do this, you have to promise and deliver a value that is better than that of your competitors. Continuing to deliver satisfaction will help you to retain customers.
Therefore, you should learn to create value for your customers and extract value from them. Therefore, you should create the best mix for the 4Ps (product, price, promotion, and place) to help customers get maximum benefits from your products.
By definition, a personal marketing plan is an orderly set of actions that aim at the achievement of set objectives within a specified time frame. Thus, this strategic document should outline the actions and steps you intend to take to help you achieve your objectives.
The personal marketing plan will help you to focus all your efforts towards maximizing business profits. Therefore, you will be able to spend your resources, energy, and time efficiently.
Why You Need a Marketing Plan
The benefits of a marketing plan include;
- Helps entrepreneurs to set measurable, realistic, and clear objectives
- Helps you to obtain business financing
- Increases the bottom-line of your business
- Helps in boosting your customer base
- Assists businesses to reach their target audience
How to Prepare a Marketing Plan
Preparing a personal marketing plan is not as expensive as it may sound. You need to carry out some small research involving the collection, analyzing, and organizing info to help you plan your actions. In research, you obtain market information from various sources and use it to answer the following questions:
- Which markets are you serving?
- Which unique or special features differentiate your products or services from your competitors?
- Which is the best way to have your products or services get into the hands of your target customers?
- How should you advertise or promote your products or services?
- How does your target market change or what is the probability of it changing?
There are various sources to obtain this critical information. Some of them include joining professional bodies, attending conferences and trade shows, visiting similar businesses, talking to other people in the industry, using social media networks, and searching for more information online.
Once you have enough information to answer all the above questions, you can follow the eight steps below to develop a personal marketing plan. These questions are important even when working with personal injury marketing.
It is the best starting point to develop a successful marketing plan. You can also get a personal marketing plan template as a valuable resource for this assignment.
One thing to remember is that a personal marketing plan is never static. This is a living document that you need to check for relevance routinely and revise accordingly.
The personal marketing plan also gives you a basis for assessing every new opportunity and check whether it is in line with your overall objectives and goals. With this information, you will be able to make any necessary adjustments.
Steps to Creating a Personal Marketing Plan
Here are the 8 steps that you need to follow when drafting a personal marketing plan. It is what the personal marketing company if your choice will also follow in their work;
Step 1: Starting Your Marketing Objectives
Your goal could be to increase your number of active customers, revenue, sales, or brand awareness by a certain percentage. For instance, your marketing goal would be ‘to increase the volume of sales by 5% by the end of every quarter. There are so many goals that you can set for your personal marketing plan. It can even be something like participating in at least two trade shows by the end of the year.
You can express your marketing objectives in terms of awareness, distribution channels/levels, market share, sales units, or sales dollars. However, it is advisable to limit your objectives to a maximum of 4. In fact, most managers will tell you that the two objectives are ideal for them. The other tip is making sure that your marketing objectives are as realistic as possible.
Step 2: Identifying the Demographics of Your Target Audience
Customer demographics include details such as residency, education level, income level, profession, sex, age, business or residency, and many more. One way to determine this is by writing a small description of the target audience.
After doing so, only focus on the customers that are more likely to buy your products or services. As your resources and business continue to grow, you can begin to focus on a broader segment of your overall market. A target market is a group of clients that you create the marketing efforts for.
The choice of the target will determine your marketing and production practices and not vice versa. The target market is not simply those people who are buying or will buy your products. However, it comprises of the businesses or individuals that you identify to be your most desirable clients.
Step 3: Identifying Your Competition
There are several routes to the identification of your competition. one of them is identifying the other businesses that offer products or services that are somewhat similar to yours. These products should be offered to the clients that you also target and within the same price range. After identifying your competitors, you need to analyze 2 to 4 of these businesses by answering the questions below;
- How are the enterprises doing in terms of demand and sales for their products and services?
- How can you create more value for your clients?
- What are the dissimilarities and similarities between their products or services and yours?
- What are the pricing strategies that your competitors are using?
- Can you improve on the strategies of your competitors?
- What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors?
- What do clients think of your competitors’ products or services?
- Can you capitalize on some of the weaknesses of your competitors?
- Is there anything that is special or unique about your products
Step 4: Describing Your Product or Service
A product can be a service, a commodity, or both of them. What services or products is your business offering? How do your products or services differ from those that your competitors offer? How do customers look at the benefits that your products or services? According to customers, what are the special features of your products or services?
What do you provide to the health-conscious or environmentally conscious customers? How will you present your product or service to clients? Is there a decrease or increase in supplying your product or service to the market?
Remember that your business cannot survive in the absence of customers. Therefore, you need to give your clients a reason to remain loyal to your brand. As we said earlier, aim at producing what you can sell and not selling what you can produce. It is a great tip when making your personal marketing plan.
Step 5: Defining the Place or Distribution Strategy
The term place goes beyond the physical location of your entity. It also entails how you are planning to get your products or services into the hands of your target clients. To do this, you should look at how widely your intent to distribute your products or services geographically.
It can be internationally, nationally, multi-state, in-state, locally, etc. Will you be selling to your customers directly? Direct marketing entails picking your own (U-pick), internet sales and mail order, roadside stands, farmers’ markets, home delivery, community-supported agriculture (CSA), etc.
Will you be selling indirectly to retailers or packing houses (intermediary marketing)? You should consider your production plan and establish the best packaging. Packaging will protect or preserve your goods and differentiate and advertise them.
Step 6: Choosing Your Promotion Strategy
Promotion is the whole set of activities that inform individuals about your products or services. You need promotion even during personal injury marketing for chiropractors. It induces the target audience to prefer your products or services over the ones that your competitors are offering. Promotion is just how you get individuals to know about your products or services.
It deals with what and how you would like to communicate with your buyers or customers. Some of the tools to use here include mass media billboards, yellow pages, magazines, newspapers, the internet, television, and radio. The others are social media (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook), trade associations, personal contacts, and direct mail.
You should also identify the amount of capital and human resources that you should set aside for the promotion. One of the most cost-effective ways of ways to promote your business is social media. It is a strategy that pays quite well for personal injury lawyer marketing.
Step 7: Developing a Pricing Strategy
There are so many pricing strategies like relative pricing, flexible pricing, and cost-oriented pricing. In the cost-oriented pricing strategy, you have to set your price at a particular price level that is above the cost of production. Relative pricing is the use of the current market price to set your price either below, above, or at the same price.
Regardless of the pricing strategy that you are using, you should know the pricing strategies that your competitors are using and your production cost. The price depends on the total costs and prevailing market prices. It should cover all your production costs and also have a profit margin.
Do some research to know the prices that your competitors are charging and what your customers are willing to pay. All these are critical components that you cannot exclude in your personal marketing plan. It also forms a critical component of your marketing personal statement.
Step 8: Create Your Marketing Budget
Since you are operating on limited resources, it is good to identify the amount of money and time that you would like to allocate to your personal marketing efforts.
Estimate the cost of each marketing strategy that you propose in the personal marketing plan and make sure you stick to your budget. Make sure that your plan has all the associated costs including the miscellaneous expenditures.
It is good for your personal marketing plan to have all the above 8 steps. The basis of this document is to understand the wants and needs of your customers and make sure that you meet all of them. Developing a personal marketing plan is not as expensive and as time-consuming as you may think.
The secret is just getting to know what to include at every stage. With the right document, you can be sure of the success of your business. It will make sure that your business is relevant to the target audience.
You can gain more insights by doing some research on the topic. If you still face challenges, you can look for a marketing professional to guide you through the process of developing a personal marketing plan.