We provide you the tools with PosterMyWall, and we also wanted to give you the expertise to run your business like never before. For that, we reached out to Allan Dib, a rebellious marketer, successful entrepreneur and author of The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money And Stand Out From The Crowd, Amazon’s #1 global marketing book.
Over the course of this blog post series, Allan will take us through nine steps to create a practical marketing plan that works for small businesses.
This is part 2 of the ‘How to create a marketing plan’ blog post series. If you haven’t read part 1, we highly recommend reading that first.
Now, over to Allan.
A Message that Cuts Through
To recap, we kicked off the series by looking at who your niche target market is. The biggest lesson there is that your target market can’t be everyone and that you really need to try to get into the mind of your customer by creating a customer avatar.
Now I want to tackle your message, and this is important because, in my opinion, most small businesses marketing messages are boring, timid and ineffective.
They include a broad laundry list of services, as well as the number of years they’ve been in business, their company mission, phone number and email address, some sort of guarantee and so on.
Here’s an ad I used at the beginning of my marketing career, eek:
With PosterMyWall’s wide range of custom templates, you know you’ve got the look and feel covered.
Be a Problem Solver
If you want to get your prospect’s attention you need something more than an eye-catching design, you need a compelling messaging, something that grabs their attention and makes them think, “Yes, I need this in my life.”
To do this, you want to target your prospect’s pain. Ask yourself: what problem does your service or product solve? What result are your customers or members buying?
Once you’ve figured out why they buy you need to work out why they should buy from you. What can you convey in your messaging that will force your prospects or members to make an apples to oranges comparison when looking at you versus your competitors?
Which brings me to the third step in putting together a marketing plan, and that’s figuring out what media to use to get your message delivered to your prospect. Typically, this is the most expensive stage of your marketing. You want to be very selective about what media you use.
You could focus on social media, but in my opinion, this is a relationship building tool. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are there to help you grow awareness and gain trust. They really aren’t necessarily the ideal place for selling.
My personal favorite is email marketing.
Why? Because through email marketing you acquire a database of niche prospects. And this is a gold mine. No one can take it away from you. With Facebook, you have to pay to get your posts seen by followers. With email marketing, as long as someone opted-in to your email (or newsletter), they will receive it. You can use it to launch and test new products, and most importantly you can measure the results of your marketing.
Remember what gets measured gets managed so be ruthless with your ad spend. Cut the losers and double down on the winners.
If your target audience is local, there are many ways to market your business or event cost-effectively. Mailings, posters, and flyers are a quick and easy solution to get your message into the hands and minds of your prospect – this is particularly effective for restaurants, churches, and bars who know that their potential customers are close by.
So think about what problem you can solve for your audience, what message you can use that will set you apart from your competitors, and what media you will use to reach your target audience? These are the first three sections of your 1-page marketing plan.
Next we’re going to go where the rubber hits the road – turning interest into sales.