Why Ask a Marketing Consultant to Create Your Marketing Plan?

Does your business have a clear long term route map, a practical marketing strategy and a clear marketing plan? Does this cover both your digital marketing and traditional marketing?

Unfortunately, many small and medium sized businesses don’t have a clear marketing strategy with a marketing plan that they can implement. And, it’s a fact that many small business owners and managers spend less than an hour each month on strategy. That means it’s easy to waste your marketing budget on unplanned marketing activities.

Some of the many benefits of having a practical marketing strategy and marketing plan delivered by a small business marketing consultant are that it…:

  • Ensures you take your business in a clear direction.
  • Ensuures you invest your marketing budget in the right digital and internet marketing channels.
  • Means you don’t waste your marketing budget on ad hoc marketing and advertising ‘opportunities’.
  • Ensures you know exactly who your ideal customers are and really understand their needs.
  • Helps your business stand out from and beat key competitors.
  • Gives you clear priorities and ensures you spend enough time on your marketing.
  • Increases leads, conversion rates, sales, profitability, customer retention and lifetime value.
  • Keeps your business on track through uncertainty and major challenges.

You can test how robust your approach to marketing is by taking our quick, free Real Marketing Fitness Test questionnaire. This is an easy but testing 5 minute strategic marketing review. We’ll give you feedback you can take action on, or have a follow-up chat on Zoom.

If you’re an SME based in East Lothian (with up to 250 employees), you could qualify for Free Expert Help Marketing Consultancy to pay for your marketing strategy and plan.

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Example Real Marketing Strategy & Plan Process - Flow DiagramAs the flow diagram above shows, our speeded up strategic marketing process can involve:

  • Conducting a thorough Marketing Review of all aspects of your marketing, including your website, social media, digital marketing, value proposition, Products, Pricing and other communication channels.
  • Carrying out competitor research, customer and market research (as required).
  • Running marketing planning workshops and brainstorming.
  • Profiling customers to target.
  • Creating the right marketing mix for acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers.
  • Agreeing your brand values.
  • Creating a Marketing Action Plan with clear actions, quick wins, owners and priorities.

You can read feedback from our clients here.

Have you conducted a customer satisfaction survey within the last 2 years? Do you regularly collect feedback on your perceived strengths and weaknesses, and brand values?

Do you regularly benchmark your business against 3 to 5 key competitors? You can learn a huge amount from your most innovative competitors, their websites and digital marketing.

Knowing your customers and competitors is fundamental to marketing your business successfully.

Do you know the size of your reachable market and what the market trends are?

The good news is that market intelligence has never been easier and less expensive to collect.

Real Marketing has nearly 30 years of experience so can:

  • Undertake desk research, internet research and market analysis to evaluate new markets.
  • Design and run research programmes using online questionnaires, telephone interviews, Zoom interviews, face-to-face interviews or focus groups.
  • Use the research to help you refine or develop your marketing strategy and marketing plan.

Research is fundamental to all good strategic marketing. That’s why Real Marketing carries out research as part of all marketing strategy and planning projects.

How Good is Your Customer Experience?

Providing excellent customer experience means really understanding and satisfying your customers’ needs and wants, rational and emotional. It also means providing excellent customer service.

If you retain just 5% more of your existing customers each year, your profits could increase by 20%. You could start by prioritising some quick fixes which improve customer satisfaction ratings with your most profitable customers.

“Customer service is providing an excellent product at an acceptable price and solving legitimate problems (lost packages, replacements, refunds, etc.) in the fastest manner possible. That’s it….” (Tim Ferriss)

The quality and delivery of every aspect of your products and services has an impact on customer demand and therefore on your sales. This means that you must include your products and services within your marketing.

Too many businesses think that marketing is only about marketing communications or Promotion. It shouldn’t be. It should also include ‘P’ for Products (and ‘P’ for Price).

That means that the person responsible for marketing in your company, should know how your customers perceive your products and should contribute to product improvements and product launches.

  • Ask your customers to rate your products and share their ideas.
  • Check out your competitors’ products.
  • Do some personal and team brainstorming about improving your products, delisting products and creating new products.

If you are a service business, are your services properly packaged up, or ‘productized’, to make them much easier to market? This turns your services from intangible into more tangible products which are easy for your customers to understand quickly, significantly improving your conversion rates.

Real Marketing can work with you to:

  • Conduct customer research on your products.
  • Research and plan the development and launch of new products or services.
  • Work with you to develop your product marketing strategy.
  • Help you work through product development processes.
  • Develop product definitions and product road maps.
  • Manage the product development process and work with technical teams.
  • Create your product plan, develop product packaging, and implement launch campaigns.

Christopher Lamotte has launched innovative new software, telecoms, internet, drinks, designer and service products.

Most businesses should have their website as the hub of their online presence.

You need to have a planned approach to your website and all your digital marketing channels: ecommerce and digital processes; social media marketing; email marketing; content marketing; conversion rate optimisation; and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Many SMEs need someone to take on the time consuming task of website project management. Real Marketing can be your website project manager, creating your website map and brief,copy writing the website content, planning your calls to action and conversion rates, and managing your website designs.

As website experts and digital marketing consultants, Real Marketing can help you plan and execute a winning digital marketing strategy that drives conversions and sales.

Why not ask Christopher for a free website and marketing review.

Playing Chess - Marketing Plans & Strategy - chess moves - jeshoots-com-fzOITuS1DIQ-unsplash

Execute Your Marketing Plan Creatively & Well

Too often, good plans and campaigns can be spoilt by poor execution; some businesses have a good plan but don’t spend enough time implementing it; or they execute their plan badly, in a hurry, only partially, without discipline and without creative magic. Read How to execute your marketing plan for maximum ROI.

“Indeed, the problem is not that the owners of small businesses in this country don’t work; the problem is that they’re doing the wrong work. As a result, most of their businesses end up in chaos – unmanageable, unpredictable, and unrewarding.” (Michael Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited)

Take the Real Marketing Fitness Test

As a first step, you could complete the free Real Marketing Fitness Test to see how ‘marketing fit and agile’ your business is. This is our 5-minute, online strategic marketing review which will get you analysing your marketing and give you practical results to action.

Christopher Lamotte executes marketing plans every day. He can work as your flexible Virtual Marketing Manager, doing the marketing activities you don’t have time for or don’t want to do.

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