Home' Australian Printer Magazine : March 2013 Contents Ready, plan, go!
AT the end of this journey you'll know
more about the ins and outs of your
business, have a stronger idea of your
brand values and, best of all, have a strong
marketing plan that you can begin to
execute. While it can be intimidating to
face the reality of creating a marketing
plan, the end result is de nitely worth it.
Sit with consultant
REALLY want to take things a step
further? Sit down and co-create your
marketing plan with a marketing agency.
Sitting down with a marketing consultant
is a more expensive option but if your
business has signi cant sales potential, it
will pay for itself many times over.
A one-on-one marketing session
gives you an expert on hand to bounce
ideas o , answer questions and provide
greater direction to your marketing plan.
The nished plan is generally of a greater
quality and of greater use in the future.
26 March 2013 - Australian Printer
It's not all doom and gloom in print,
opportunities exist to grow print businesses
of various hue and cry. Marketeer Michael
Halligan o ers some advice for those looking
Planning key: Michael Halligan
About the author: One of the marketing industry’s rising stars, Michael Halligan is co-founder of Engage Marketing, a marketing frm
for small businesses. He is also the founder of Plan Lab, an online app designed to help small business owners learn about marketing while
they create a powerful marketing plan. Users can log in at work or at home and start creating a marketing strategy guided by advice from
Engage Marketing. http://getplanlab.com/
A marketing plan isn't about the document.
It's about what you learn
MANY start-up founders and owners of existing businesses hesitate
in writing a marketing plan, fearing that it will ask the tough
questions. If you're reading this and feeling uneasy at the thought
of analysing the ins and outs of marketing your business, then odds
are you desperately need a marketing plan. Many people write
marketing plans to please a bank or investor, but a good plan is
all about teaching you new skills in marketing, and learning more
about your business in the process.
Marketing plans, by nature push, you into the unfamiliar. They
help you to explore what successful businesses in your market are
doing, recognise the changing forces within your industry and how
to best place your business to navigate through them.
A good marketing plan will leave you with a strong idea of your
customers, your competitors, the essential ingredients to your brand
being recognised, and the tools that you're going to use to get the
exposure that you've been dreaming of. There are a few key steps to
go through when writing a marketing plan.
AS great as the end result is, it's the process
of creating a marketing plan that really
counts. It's that feeling that you experience
after burning the midnight oil working
on your plan, dreaming of all the new
opportunities and the sales that will come.
Find a good marketing plan resource
and run through the process of creating a
marketing plan. Choose a marketing plan
resource that suits you. While it might be
ideal to have a marketing consultant give
you personalised attention, this might not
suit your budget or business position. So
you need to choose something that you can
start with right away. For some this will be
an online marketing plan programme such
as Plan Lab, or even a book. Learn what you
need to include, what considerations you
need to make and, most importantly, read
about how to answer each area of your
This learning not only helps to create a
powerful plan that you can use to market
your business in years to come, it also
helps to ll you with the con dence and
knowledge to quickly and easily execute
your essential marketing activities without
relying on hiring new marketing sta .
THE key for any type of plan is making
sure you know what your goals are -- if you
know where you want to be in 12 months,
you can start to plan how to get there.
When setting goals, follow your heart
and listen to your head. Following your
heart will lead to selling goals that inspire
you and ll you with a burning desire to
ful ll. Listening to your head will ensure
that the goals remain realistic.
Then, to add legs to your goals,
match your goals with your tactics. For
example, not all marketing tactics will
result in sales. Some tactics are designed
to get the phone ringing, others are to
build credibility. While one might be to
get potential customers to nd you on a
search engine, another tactic will get them
to do another action following a visit to
Mix it up
THERE are very few successful companies
that have remained successful despite
using the same old boring marketing
strategies. If you've fallen short of your
marketing goals, don't just do what you've
always done. When writing a marketing
plans, most of us experience an element of
what marketing legend Seth Godin refers to
as the lizard brain. We revert back to what
everyone else is doing or what we've always
done. It's safe, so why not?
For example, some years ago when we
were analysing our agency's marketing
performance, we found that we were failing
to in uence the small business market
industry beyond our own network. As a
result, we focused on developing content
that businesses around Australia could
download and learn from. Today, we have
many eBooks, a popular blog and regular
articles in leading business publications.
Being prepared to question what we
were doing in our marketing lead to new
opportunities and greater reach.
IT'S downright scary that over 60 per cent of small
businesses will fail within their frst year. To avoid
becoming the statistic, you need to do your due diligence
and plan ahead. You should know what you’re facing, how
to overcome it and even how to thrive in spite of it. The same
goes for existing businesses in a changing industry. Whether
traditional markets are shrinking or your customers are
buying in a different manner, planning ahead can only leave
you better prepared.
ONCE you have your resource in place, you
need to look back at what has and hasn't
worked for you in the past -- if you keep
going with marketing activity that hasn't
worked in the past, you're essentially
throwing money down the drain. A few
tips for determining the e ectiveness of
Subscribe to Google Analytics. This
allows you to accurately track the real-
world success of your marketing activity
by looking at your website activity
Ask your customers. Regularly
call some of your customers to ask
their opinion of your business and its
marketing. If possible, ask them how you
compare with your competitors
Train your team. Ask your sales team
or other front-line sta to nd out how
customers heard about you and why they
decided to do business with you.
Once you know which types of
marketing have been working for you,
you'll have a better idea of what your
current marketing plan should look like.
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