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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.”

3 Steps to Creating the Right Social Media Strategies for Your Small Business

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you have access to one of the most amazing marketing tools in decades: the Internet. With the Internet, the ability to develop low cost social media strategies is at your fingertips. However, you need to be sure you take the right steps to develop the right strategies.   

  • Put a Marketing Expert in Charge of Your Social Media Strategies

As Annie Mueller suggests in her OPEN Forum post, “7 Steps to Simple Social Media Strategy,”

a good social media strategy… can provide the leverage to move a company from floundering to flourishing, but it can also take over your life. Figuring out exactly what to do is where it's easy to get lost—which is why you need a social media strategy. 

Part of your social media strategy should be to find the right social media strategist as well. If that’s you, great. If not, the role should be entrusted to an expert who actually understands how to monitor content and create engagement to achieve marketing goals. 

  • Create a Social Media Policy Along with Your Strategy 

When we talk about social media, we’re talking about a broad term that has many facets. Beyond Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, there is an array of unique and specialized social media outlets that may benefit your organization. Therefore, having a strategy will help you to pinpoint the most useful platforms for you. For some social media strategies created by other companies, check out this blog by Jeremiah Owyang. 

Additionally, when you create your social media strategy, you’ll want to develop and communicate company guidelines on the appropriate and inappropriate uses of social media. Have it drafted by your human resources and marketing experts and be sure to run it by your legal team before implementation. 

  • Collect Data and Measure Your Success 

Finally, no social media campaign is worth your time if you don’t monitor activities, collect data, and measure your success. Posting an occasional tweet or Facebook post or updating your company blog once a month will not garner the attention you desire or generate new customers. You must be diligent in implementing your strategies. For some interesting social media ROI equations, check out Bart Byl’s blog, “7 Essential Equations for Measuring Social Media Success.” 

Creating the right social media strategies for your small business requires time, patience, and follow-through. You'll need to outline your  social media strategies and then you'll need to allocate 30 minutes a day either yourself or to someone to whom you delegate these tasks.

Let us know what's working for you.

  1. Who do you have planning your social media and who does the implementation?
  2. Have you created a policy for your company?
  3. Who is tracking your success?

Please share your experiences with us by commenting below.

 

 

What drives the Black Friday Sales Frenzy?

What drives the Black Friday Sales frenzy?

Why do people line up at 5 am, 3am or even 1 am to get the Black Friday Deals? What possesses people to stay up all night and wait in line in 30 degree weather? I personally classify this as insanity. Yet people all over America do it. Why?

When I was at Microsoft, we were able to create that same frenzy around a product launch. There was always a big launch event every time a new product or service was released. And, people would wait in line for that item, and frenzy was created.

I had colleagues that used to say, “We don’t do sustaining marketing. We launch products!” but what did they mean by this? What does Black Friday have in common with these “Product launches”?

Let’s take a look…

It all begins with the psychology of scarcity. People have some sort of innate reaction to the fear of losing access to something they desire. As an item or opportunity becomes less available, we lose our personal control over that item. The desire to preserve our freedom of choice and maintain control makes us desire that item even more than before.

So, if we limit the quantity, have a time deadline, or create a perceived competition for the item, that item becomes more attractive to us because we think we can’t have it. Our need for control takes over and we wait in line in zero degree weather at 5 in the morning to get it. And there you have one of the primary driving forces behind Black Friday.

Scarcity: Specific Deadline

To apply this in your own business you need to create a compelling reason why a customer can only have access to a particular item by a specific deadline or they will lose the opportunity. This is often portrayed as “Act Now while supplies last.” And “Offer ends Dec. 23rd”. Black Friday Deals are usually only available one day only.

Scarcity: Lost Advantages

A second method of creating a Black Friday-like scarcity is to point out what people will lose if they don’t take advantage of an opportunity. To do this you would identify for them their “lost advantages”, rather than focusing on the benefits they gain. What are they going to lose out on?

Scarcity: Competition

A third method of using scarcity to drive sales in your business would be to create the perception that if you doesn’t do this thing then someone else will and one will lose their chance of doing it. For example, “we only take the first 50 people”, or “Limited supplies available”. This suggests that their will be competition to get those spots and if you don’t act quickly, you will lose your chance to participate. Again, these are common techniques used to create a Black Friday Sales Frenzy.

Scarcity is a powerful tool of persuasion. Once you are aware of it, you can use it to improve your sales in your own business and even create your own version of a Black Friday Sales Frenzy.

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