This post is one in a series of five guest posts authored by the super star bloggers pictured below. As part of a celebration of National Small Business Week we are asking readers to match all five guests posts up with the contributing blogger to be entered for a chance to win an iPad2. Read all five posts in today’s series and come back each day this week for five new posts in this great educational series and another chance to win.
Tim Berry is the president and founder of Palo Alto Software, founder of bplans.com, and a co-founder of Borland International, author of books and software on business planning, Stanford MBA, father of five, married 41 years. His latest book is The Plan-As-You-Go-Business-Plan. He can be found blogging at his main blog Planning Startups Stories.
What is a Marketing Strategy and How Do I Get One 2
Years ago the marketing plan was a lot of Ps: price, place promotion, and so on. I prefer the Ms: market, message, medium, measurement, management. And you care about it because of the last M, money.
The market is about target markets. It’s like sculpture. You start with a big block of everything, and what makes it beautiful is what you take away. Michelangelo started with a block of marble and ended up with David. So for a restaurant, to take one example, if you try to appeal to everybody, you’re doomed. Instead, you target foodies, or families with young kids, or office workers. Not everybody. Food, service, location, and pricing optimize for specific target groups. Visualize and imagine your ideal target buyer.
The message should match the target market. Understand benefits. Don’t talk about quick and inexpensive if you’re targeting a high-end market. Understand what your benefits are — much more than features — and focus the message you want to deliver. The secret is to please and attract your special targets instead of promising everything to everybody.
The medium has to match both the market and the message. Don’t count on social media to reach retirees or mainstream television to reach urban intellectuals. Put your message where your market will find it.
Develop measurement to set your marketing goals so you can track and measure your progress. Look for numbers like sales, units, leads, presentations, page views, downloads, and conversion rates.
The management happens with the following up on the metrics. You track plan vs. actual results and look carefully at the difference. That leads to revisions and course corrections.
Which brings us to money, the reason why you want a marketing plan: better marketing planning means better marketing management which means more sales and managed, optimized marketing spending.