A Marketing Plan is an Action Plan

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From the outset, I am going to say that what I am writing below is not a ‘new’ concept, nor is it rocket science, but I think it is important for all of us in business, particularly those of us in small business, to be reminded that having a marketing plan is a good idea. It doesn’t have to be a daunting, massive task that takes months to put together. For small businesses, it is much better to be simple and straightforward.
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A marketing plan is simply an action plan that provides direction for marketing activities. In other words, it is a small business owner’s to do list of marketing activities. It literally tells the business what activities they have decided to spend their valuable time and resources on. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to know that this information is vital to making a business a success. It simply blows me away to think that any business can survive without some kind of marketing plan.

Anyway, if you are still reading, it means that you are keen to be reminded. So here goes…

It doesn’t matter what format your marketing plan takes, as long as it contains the following four activities:

1. Look at who you need to market to. To do this, you should look at doing the following:

  • An analysis of your target market – Your product or service might appeal to a number of different buyers and you need to get an idea of what characterises the buying decisions of each. Taking a good look at the profile of your ideal customer is a pretty good place to start. Who are they? What do they like? Where do they go to buy things?
  • An examination of why they would use your product or service
  • A look at your competitors and how they target customers

2.  Look at who you are as a business. To do this, you should look including the following in your marketing plan:

A SWOT analysis will highlight what you see are your internal strengths and weaknesses, how you can turn your strengths into opportunities, and how your weaknesses can be threats to your business. I agree that it is 'old school' but still relevant in today's business world.

A second item that you might consider in your marketing plan is a positioning statement. A positioning statement is your reason for being. It is the singular core message on how you wish to be perceived by your prospects. It says how you will meet your customers’ needs and beat your competition in a maximum of two sentences.

 A terrific mentor of mine gave me this little formula for how to create one. Here are a list of seven questions, write down your answer to each. Use the ‘prompt’ words (beside the / after each question), to join each phrase to create two sentences, and you will have your positioning statement.

So, by practising what I preach, and because I have done a significant amount of work on developing one for myself, I have used my own positioning statement as an example here. You may have read it on the homepage of my website.

Here are the seven questions in bold, and my answers:

  • Who are you? NRDM Marketing is a boutique Brisbane-based marketing consultancy
  • What business are you in?/offering end-to-end direct marketing solutions
  • What people do you serve?/to help businesses
  • What need are you satisfying?/achieve their marketing goals.
  • Against whom do you compete?/Unlike other Marketing firms claiming to cover all streams of marketing,
  • What’s different about you? NRDM Marketing draws on more than 20 years’ experience in direct marketing
  • What unique benefit is derived from your product or service?/to provide below-the-line marketing strategies which are smart, cost effective, proven to work, measurable, and optimise return on marketing spend.

I joined them together to get my positioning statement:

NRDM Marketing is a boutique Brisbane-based marketing consultancy offering end-to-end direct marketing solutions to help businesses achieve their marketing goals. Unlike other Marketing firms claiming to cover all streams of Marketing, NRDM Marketing draws on more than 20 years’ experience in direct marketing to provide below-the-line marketing strategies which are smart, cost effective, proven to work, measurable, and optimise return on marketing spend.

3. Identify what types of marketing you are going to use. Most businesses use a variety of marketing channels. The secret is to work out which ones will be effective for your business. For example, if you are a B2B organisation, the marketing strategies you would use would be very different to those for a B2C organisation. I would suggest that you do your research into each of the marketing channels that you are considering using and analyse whether or not they are appropriate to your target audience. 


4. Detail the strategies you are specifically going to use. This is the ‘figuring out your strategy’ bit. You need to create a plan, which tells you what you have to do, when, and how much it will cost. You will need to include:

  • What specific activities you will run
  • When you will run them
  • What budget there is for each activity
  • Who will run them
  • What results are you aiming to achieve from each activity
  • How you are going to assess the success of each activity

If you would like to put together a marketing plan for your business, speak with Nicole Rety who is the owner and marketing consultant at NRDM Marketing. NRDM Marketing is a boutique marketing consultancy focused on direct marketing and helping businesses achieve their marketing goals.

- NRDM Marketing has done work for -