BSA Marketing Articles

Five Questions to Help Create an Effective Marketing Plan

Questions can be a wonderful tool. In planning, the key to success is knowing the right questions to ask. That certainly applies when it comes to creating a Marketing Plan.

Answering the following questions will provide you with information needed to create the framework for an effective plan.

What is your value message?

This is the first and most important question you can answer. Until you know what value you wish to communicate about your product or service, attracting customers will be unfocused and difficult.

Consider how you’re different from your competitors. Your message must clearly state the value your customer can expect to receive. And remember, there is at least some emotion behind every purchase. Your value message might be that you are timely and accurate (you’re respectful), you offer a lot for a little (I feel smart buying from you), or your ingredients are top quality (I deserve good things).

“Simple fare, freshly and tastefully prepared” is the message a restaurant might want its prospective customers to get. When seeing or hearing the name of the restaurant, this is what we want them to remember. Likewise, when thinking of that kind of food, we want our restaurant to come to mind. The simpler the message, the clearer it will be. The clearer it is stated, the stronger and more “attractive” it becomes. Clarity is the key.

Of course, you not only have to sell it, you then have to deliver the value. [Read more…]

How to Create a Marketing Strategy That Delivers

One of the most challenging parts of marketing is creating effective strategies. That’s because it’s impossible to be certain what outcome any given marketing strategy will bring. But there are ways you can increase the probability of success.

First, let’s define strategy and consider why it’s needed.

Wikipedia defines strategy as “A long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, most often “winning.” Strategy is differentiated from tactics or immediate actions with resources at hand by its nature of being extensively premeditated, and often practically rehearsed. Strategies are used to make the problem easier to understand and solve.”

My definition is a bit simpler, and hopefully, easier to understand. I consider developing a strategy as the “thinking” part of the process. It’s where you gather all the pertinent information, analyze it, and then make “informed” decisions based on what you learned. A strategy is an informed decision that provides a framework for actions. [Read more…]

Want More Sales! Create More Value!

If you’re feeling frustrated with the results of your sales efforts, don’t give up; try creating more value. Of course, value will be different for each type of business. Your job is to determine what it is and how you can provide it.

Adding free bonuses and extras is a common way to add value. Barnes & Noble built its online business quickly by offering free shipping when Amazon.com did not.

An accountant friend added the service of setting up and training on the client’s accounting software making it painless for the client and much easier to obtain needed information for taxes and reporting. It was a win-win and many clients saw the value.

Depending on your business, you might include free upgrades for your software. Maybe add a complimentary financial assessment for a new investment client. Or a free car wash with an oil change. Consider where you can add value at little or no cost to you. The objective is to get the commitment from the customer. Once a customer they are a prime candidate to buy more if you have provided value. [Read more…]

The One Page Marketing Plan – Preparation

The purpose of the One Page Marketing Plan is to simplify the steps of creating a practical plan you can put to use immediately. It can be used to support a marketing campaign or to carry out your overall business plan.

We start by gathering pertinent information and answering specific questions. The purpose of the One Page Marketing Plan is to give you explanations and examples to organize your thinking and direct your actions. You’ll have simple tools that provide a structure you can use over and over again. You are both learning and doing at the same time.

There are only two basic steps in the One Page Marketing Plan process: Preparation and Planning. This article covers the highlights of the Preparation process. During this step you’ll gather critical information about your business and your market. Upon completion of this step you’ll be ready to create a simple and effective One Page Marketing Plan.

PREPARATION

Preparation consists of gathering pertinent information about your business and your market. You want to be very clear about your market position before starting your plan. You also want information about your market and your marketing history. [Read more…]