Training 12 - Marketing Plan
Preparing a Marketing Plan
Think About a Few Things Before You Write It!
Your Sales Center
What makes your Sales Center, service better than the competition?
Define your Center and its customers:
• Who are your local competitors? __________________________, _____________________,
_______________________, _________________________, ________________________
• What is your biggest/best advantage/niche? _________________________________________
• Are you the most experienced and well versed?
• Are you focused on high quality, mass market or low cost products? _____________
• Do you sell to a niche market? _______________________________________________
• Other? ____________________________________________________________________
Define your long and short-term goals for your company.
Where do you want to be in:
• 1 year ______________________________________
• 2 years _____________________________________
• 5 years _____________________________________
Define your best past customers: (whichever industry)
• How did you get them? ____________________________________________________
• How did you retain them? _______________________________________________
• How can you get the same good customers? ________________________________
• What media most effectively reaches that type of customer? _________________
If you have a list of customers but cannot define the best, how can you find them?
1. Use personal interviews
2. Send a questionnaire with a free offer
3. Telephone research of existing customers
Are you providing “Knock Your Socks Off” service?
• How can you better serve your customer?
• Informative Newsletter?
• Service skills staff training?
• Product training?
• Ask your customers?
• Ask your employees?
• Evaluate the entire sales process from the first contact to follow up?
Your Master Action Plan
The Marketing Plan that will Blow the Doors off your Competition, A Master Action Plan (MAP) clearly defines WHO you are and WHERE your Sales Center wants to go and HOW your Sales Center will get there. Whether you are NEW to business or NOT SO NEW, you need a MAP to find success in less time and at a lower cost.
A MAP prepares you for the stresses of participating in a competitive marketplace. It improves your odds of success, keeps you on track, reduces distractions, guides your operation to ensure constant viability and growth, helps you raise cooperative advertising dollars and shows you how to spend it.
There is no scientifically proven MAP that will guarantee you increased sales and higher profits. Give yourself the best shot at success -- be thorough, precise, realistic and optimistic!
Keep focused on fulfilling the needs of your target customer base. Capitalize on your personal strengths and surround yourself with people offering other essential skills. You – and they – must possess the passion to succeed. A winning attitude is half the battle!
Don’t expect to write your MAP in an hour. It may take weeks! Even after you finish, be prepared to change directions if you reach a fork in the road! Adapt to the ever-changing internal and external forces promptly and decisively.
“There are passengers on the road of life, and then there are drivers”. Do you recall hearing this quote before?
Slide over to the driver’s seat and buckle up. Embark on a simple step by step journey. Answer the question posted at each step, (DON’T skip ahead). As you move down the path, look back often at the road you’ve traveled and at your answers. They will help guide you towards business and financial success. There will be hundreds of businesses answering these questions along with you. If you answer the questions realistically and optimistically, you will all enjoy success -- despite having taken different paths.
Just follow these simple rules:
Don’t run out to get your corporate MBA. You won’t need one.
Don’t write a novel -- answer in single words or short sentences.
Don’t do it in the office -- pick up and leave. Avoid disruptions!
Don’t call it a Marketing Plan --call it your Master Action Plan (MAP). It’s a lot less threatening!
Get a large note pad and start writing your answers to the following:
ISSUE 1: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Are you in this game to have fun, make a living, or to make a fortune? Your answer to this question determines how aggressive you will be traveling down the road towards success. Will you be walking? Jogging? Or running? It is O.K. if you answer “yes” to all of the above!
ISSUE 2: WHAT ARE YOUR BUSINESS STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES?
Are you a strong, confident salesperson or a super-efficient administrator? Use single words to describe your general business skills. Be honest. (Later down the road, when we talk about support staff, you will surround yourself with people who are stronger in your weaker areas and vice versa).
ISSUE 3: WHAT ARE YOUR SALES AND BUSINESS STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES?
How much do you really know and how much do you need to learn? Since you are dealing directly with the public, you need to know current Hemp/CBD regulations in your state and more as it may relate your local electric company, local permitting process, tax matters and be viewed as a general an authority on renewable upgrades. We provide numerous ongoing educational opportunities – at all levels.
ISSUE 4: WHAT ARE YOUR RESOURCE STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES?
First, consider your financial resources. As a business owner, you must know what comes in, what goes out, and what’s left for advertising, staffing, etc. Second, consider your physical resources – your location. What’s great about it? What are the challenges? Lastly, consider yourself as the other resource. How much time are you able to dedicate to your business? Make sure your response is in sync with your answer at ISSUE 1. If you want it all you’ll need to give it your all!
ISSUE 5: WHO ARE YOUR COMPETITORS?
List them all; every CBD Company located within your marketplace and CBD Company that advertises within your marketplace (yes, even the “800” number operators). Clip their ads and assess their strategies. Get on their mailing lists. What image are they attempting to establish? Do they specialize? “Keep your friends close, your enemies closer”! Knowing your competitors will help guide you through the next few ISSUEs. You will not be successful if you ignore the competitive forces around you.
ISSUE 6: WHO LIVES AND WORKS IN YOUR MARKETPLACE?
If you don’t know who lives there and what types of businesses are in the area, search the web for details and demographics, check with the town hall for population statistics, check out the town’s web site, or get the information from your local cable company, newspaper or radio station salesperson!
ISSUE 7: WHO WILL YOU TARGET?
Now that you have dealt with seven issues, you know who YOU are, who your COMPETITORS are, and WHAT POPULATION SEGMENTS you could possibly sell to in your marketplace. It’s time to decide what slice of the pie you want – where the best opportunities lie. Choose your PRIMARY, SECONDARY, and TERTIARY target markets – no more!!! (Examples: Athletes, Senior Health, Local Health Clubs, etc.).
ISSUE 8: WHAT “PRODUCT(S)” WILL YOU SELL?
List the popular products that appeal to your PRIMARY, SECONDARY, and TERTIARY target markets. Yes, you are in the CBD business, but different market segments are buying CBD for very different reasons. Are you selling Natural Health Products, Pain Relief, a Modern Health Solutions or are you a local CBD product Distributor?
ISSUE 9: WILL YOU NICHE?
Is there a big enough selling opportunity that exists within ONE target market in your area? If so, then throw out the other two and focus on number one. Become an all-out expert in meeting the needs of your one target market. Before you know it, you will develop a reputation in your marketplace and consumers will seek YOU out!
ISSUE 10: HOW WILL YOU REACH YOUR TARGET MARKETS?
You know WHO you will be selling to, you now need to list the best ways to reach them with your message. Is it newspaper? Direct mail? The World Wide Web? Magazine? Radio? Don’t be afraid to call upon the sales representatives from the various media.
They will very likely have a demographic analysis and be able to tell you precisely whom they reach. At this time, you should consider what promotional activities would help generate new customers (i.e. education seminars, marketing partnerships with other retailers, sales events, etc.).
ISSUE 11: WHAT TYPE OF SHOP WILL YOU BE?
The question posed by this issue is challenging yet critical. Here’s what I mean by “type of shop”: Will you focus largely on residential or commercial? Will you be a discount house and reduce costs substantially? Will you dedicate yourself to outstanding customer service and value -- minimize discounting and rebating? You will need to review all the prior ISSUES one through ten in order to ascertain the answer. Once it is clear, stick with it. It is important not to ramble around and let yourself be blown off course during the course of business.
ISSUE 12: HOW WILL YOU MARKET TO YOUR PROSPECTS?
Your local marketing efforts must speak to your chosen market, it must tell a story – in seconds. Your local message must also break through the clutter – so what would be YOUR hook? “pick and stick”! (Whatever you choose, stick with it. Inconsistency will only confuse the marketplace and work against you).
ISSUE 13: HOW WILL YOU MARKET TO THE PEOPLE YOU’VE ALREADY SOLD TO?
After-the-sale marketing is EQUALLY as important as before-the-sale marketing. However, one could argue that it is MORE important. It will take you six times as much money and effort to bring on a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. People who bought CBD from you will need to buy every month. Isn’t it worthwhile putting an “auto-pilot” follow-up program in place? There IS such a thing as customer loyalty. (Contact your clients immediately after install AND contact them at least once every month thereafter!!!).
ISSUE 14: WHO WILL YOU AFFILIATE WITH?
There are many businesses that are trying to attract the same customer that you are, but for a different purpose. Some of these businesses may have more man power, bigger ad budget or more local market savvy or connections. It’s time to explore these alliances and join forces to fight for the common goal. A good affiliate can bring a lot more to the party than you can on your own. Who can you seek out that is in line with your answers above? Is it a powerful local property insurance broker, mortgage or real estate company? If you are not currently affiliated with a group, don’t “bite off your nose to spite your face” and think you’re better off going it alone. Shop for the ones that will be the best for YOU.
ISSUE 15: HOW WILL YOU MEASURE?
What is making your phones ring? Systematically and persistently track every incoming phone call. Did the caller see your newspaper ad? Hear your radio ad? See your window? Hear about you from another client of yours? You will never know what advertising is working unless you track this on a simple form and summarize the results weekly. This will also allow you to calculate the Cost of Leads, Cost of Acquisition, and your Closing Ratios.
ISSUE 16: HOW WILL YOU RUN YOUR OPERATION?
Ever ride the bumper cars at a carnival? That’s what your office will look like if you don’t figure out how the work will flow! Will your “ace” sales person also do the paperwork or will he or she pass the baton to their teammate – the support administrator? Spend some extra time here to determine who you will hire (bring on people who are stronger in your weaker areas, etc.), what software you will use, how you will decorate your office, how you will compensate your employees, and what your hours will be. There can be nothing worse than launching a great ad campaign when not being able to handle the inquiries.
ISSUE 17: WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN SIX MONTHS? ONE YEAR?
NOW you can do your sales projections. Your 17 STEP marathon has taught you everything about your business and you are now qualified to make an educated “guestimation” at your sales figures. Be ambitious yet realistic!
ISSUE 18: HOW’D YOU DO?
After six months, sit down with your MAP and drive down the 17 ISSUES again, stopping at each ISSUE. Did you follow your plan or did you go off track? It is OK to adjust your MAP where you feel it is necessary. After six months, drive it again. Constantly check-up on yourself. Your MAP has been so carefully crafted that by following your own directions it will help you build your business, achieve success faster, and blow the doors off your competition.
Define Your Target Market
Who is my target customer? (Define as detailed as possible, age, sex, occupation, income, ailment types, etc.)
How will I attract this customer? ___________________________________________________________________________
Who will help me attract my customer? ___________________________________________________________________________
These are the first 5 steps I need to take:
by date: __________,
by date: __________,
by date: __________,
by date: __________,
by date: __________,