3 Tips for Creating Great Marketing Plans

Create Your DreamsPeople sometimes assume that opening their very own business is easy. However, it takes more than money to make a business thrive and survive. We live in a world wherein we have a lot of competition with whatever things we decide to venture on. It is very important to make sure that you have a good marketing plan, so that you can safely and steadily be on track as you take your business upwards.

But remember, creating marketing plans is more than just drafting a bunch of strategies on a piece of paper. There are actually important factors involved in this. Here are three helpful tips in creating good marketing plan.

Firstly, one of the things that you have to remember is, you have to be highly motivated. There are times when a business plan seems promising but because the owner is not that determined to succeed, the business fails. Entrepreneurs would have to be “hands on” with their business especially during the first years when it is still very fragile. Entrepreneurs should make sure that they are not only using their knowledge, but their instincts as well–because it is a very big factor.

Second thing you have to remember is, your plans should be concise and concrete. If you’d just put together generalized ideas in your marketing plan, then it will not succeed. You should specify what your goal is (precisely), who will be in charge of your goal, and what people around you or your staff should do in order to help. Also, remember that you have to be specific about the day you would like your goal to be reached. This will make you strive more.

Lastly, remember that your plans would have to be measurable. You have to keep your goals reachable. You can’t expect to become big in the industry that you chose overnight. Have a big goal, but also accept that it may take a while for you to achieve it—years even.

You have to work hard to achieve success. But in order to reach that point, you have to make your dreams precise, concrete and “big yet attainable.”

Lemonade Stand Marketing: Life Lessons

What is it that determines ones success in life? In business? Let’s take a look at how a simple lemonade stand can teach you the skills necessary to succeed.

Attitude

You’ve heard it before… Attitude is everything. Well, it certainly can’t hurt. Wouldn’t your rather be running a business with these fun lovers who know how to take a break and have some fun? Or, you can always work with me, the slave-driver 🙂

Seriously now, its best to take someone who is in a funk and move them off the front line until their attitude shifts. Or, just send them home. It’s not worth the loss in sales. Your customers’ lives are hectic enough. Wouldn’t you prefer to be around someone who is spreading liquid sunshine? So would your customers.

Teamwork

What a great opportunity to learn how to take turns, share and work together toward a common goal. I watched seven little girls divide up tasks themselves. Each found a way to contribute. One sat behind the lemonade pitcher and poured the lemonade in the cups. Another collected money. Another shouted into the microphone. One held the menu. One held the sign. One wrote on the sidewalk. Another served the cookies. And each provided assistance to the others. Wow, I couldn’t have orchestrated it if you paid me. What made it work? They all shared the same vision and a desire to have fun and make some money. It didn’t matter how they got there and who did what. They shared responsibilities. They kept moving forward to their goal.

What would your business be like if everyone worked like that? What would it take to get there? Can everyone on your team buy into the vision and strive for the goal?

Goal Setting

On Sunday my middle daughter took a break from the lemonade stand to play with a friend who stopped by. She was very disappointed that she wasn’t going to get any money for the time she was away. She immediately said “How much money do I need to make to go to Build-A-Bear Workshop?” When I told her she stayed focused all the rest of the day and never left the stand. Once she had achieved her financial goal (at about 6:30pm) she said “Okay, mom, I’m done. We can close up now”.

Without a goal, she never even would have sat at that lemonade stand. But her sisters were earning money to go to “Build-A-Bear” and heck if she was going to be left behind.

Give yourself something to shoot for. Give yourself a goal. Without a clear picture of where you want to go, you may never get there. but if you know that you want to go to Build-A-Bear tomorrow morning, you’ll walk all the way around the park until you find enough people to buy that lemonade.

I have a friend who excels at Network Marketing. I once asked him what is the key success factor for someone in your business. You know what he said? “Hunger. You’ve got to really want to succeed.” Do you have the hunger? What will it take for you to get it?

I once had the hunger and I achieved great things. Then I lost the hunger and I lost the things. I rediscovered the hunger in a new place. One that is sustainable. Is your hunger sustainable and can it be met while achieving a balanced life?

Life Balance

The second lesson my daughters learned from this is that if you don’t participate, you don’t share in the rewards. You need to contribute and do your share to share in the results. You need to do the activity. When my youngest daughter took a break to run in the sprinkler, she knew full well that she wasn’t going to get paid for the hour she played, and she was okay with that. She had already earned enough to go to “Build-A-Bear” and its was time to play.

As you can see from the video above, a quick run through the sprinkler is refreshes the attitude. Make sure you plan time for replenishing your soul. How can you take a “run through the sprinkler” today?

Activity

If you want to achieve your goals, you have to do the activity. You don’t necessarily have to “work” in terms of putting a lot of labor and pain with it. You can choose to have fun or to be cranky, but you do have to do the steps to sell the lemonade. You will have more fun and more success if you have a good attitude, but without staffing the stand, you won’t sell any lemonade.

My husband has this great quote that he taped to his computer. It says “If all you do is sit around and visualize, the men in white overalls will come and take away your furniture.” I know a lot of personal growth classes teach you just need to visualize, but its only part of the equation. You actually need to do activity to support you vision.

While activity gives you results, it’s activity with a positive attitude that gives you success.

Activity + Positive Attitude = Success!

Have you planned to balance your goals and activities with some attitude refreshing fun? Make room for that creative down time. It’s in those quiet moments that brilliance comes to you.

What are some of your favorite stories of those non-working moments when something brilliant comes to you?

What marketing specialist do I need?

What marketing expert should you be working with for each marketing tactic that you want to implement? This is a short list to help you figure out who you need to call. In a larger business, it is typically the brand or product manager that writes the marketing strategy and plan and then oversees all the specialized experts who make it happen.  Here is a brief list of who to work with…

  • Marketing Communications: could be an AD agency or just a graphic artist, copywriter and web designer. The Ad agency would also have a creative director that oversees the other 3 specialists. They create your identity, logo, brochures, website, packaging, ads (both online and off) and most materials. Can also create email newsletters. A direct marketing specialist would also fall into this category.
  • Web site: web designer works on the visual representation, web developer handles ecommerce, community forums and other functionality, SEO expert gets your chosen keywords emphasized,
  • Social Media: blog/community manager oversees blog content and responds to community members (blogger could also be in a different dept. like PR). Twitter and forum communicator.
  • PR: gets feature articles written, product placements, press tours, press kits, press releases, speaker placement, quotes,and more.
  • Event Marketing: identifies, schedules and prioritizes marketing events, creates booths, demos, etc.
  • Channel Marketing: work with resellers, OEM, Affiliate managers and Evangelists: who get 3rd parties to sell your products or services or use them in their own products
  • Business Development & Sales – works directly with key customer accounts to close a sale.

This is most of the major categories of specialists. The ones you need to work with can vary depending on your type of business.

What other marketing specialists have you used?

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