How to Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan

In selling or marketing anything you really do need a strategic marketing plan to help you stay on track.  A plan of this nature is set for a period of time and usually that is 3 years to 5 years.  It is a critical part of business growth for any new business or for individuals as they strive to establish market presence.

A plan of this nature can be incorporated into your personal business plan.  The actions that you take should be matched to the marketing plan.  Be prepared to make adjustments where necessary when the market or your client base changes.  A process of tracking and measuring is quite important.

Here are some tips to help you with the establishment of a marketing plan to grow your business in a competitive market:

  1. Given that the plan is for a lengthy period of time, the prevailing market and the business conditions will change over that time.  For that reason you need to be prepared for a reassessment and or repositioning of the marketing plan as required.
  2. Understand your position in the market today when it comes to market share, product or service offering, and specialisation.
  3. Given the previous point, your competitors will also have a ranking to be watched and tracked.  Understand how your competitors attract market share and check out their policies regards pricing, and supply.  If discounting is evident in your industry then you will need to determine if you want to compete at that level or provide a different point of difference that will be of real value to your clients.
  4. It is important to understand your competitive advantage if any.  A new competitive advantage can be created if you currently do not have any.
  5. Determine your objectives in marketing. Do you need more clients or better business?  Perhaps you need both.  Be quite clear in the objectives that you set.
  6. You will need some resources to get your marketing efforts underway.  Money will be part of that process, and some tools and specific brochures or systems will need to be designed.  Put them into your plan with set timelines for implementation.

A good marketing plan will help you with building your business.  Take action based on the objectives and targets of your plan.

Understand Your Sales Character and Build Your Business

When you work in a sales position in a competitive industry, you really do need to understand your character when it comes to selling and the factors that go with it.  When you truly understand how you like to do things, you can build on your strengths as a top salesperson.

There are many different ways to establish and grow as a person in your sales career or industry.

Here are some questions to review and consider as part of this process:

  1. If you are presented with some serious challenges in your marketplace, are you prepared to do what it takes to create the necessary opportunity and new business?
  2. Do you like to listen to other salespeople when it comes to market place activity, or do you work on the basis of your own experience and momentum?
  3. How do you see the opportunity for building a client base and selection of services in your business and market today?
  4. When negotiations get tough, do you know how to move to the next level and use the necessary confidence to close the deal?
  5. Do you practice your professional sales skills on a daily basis so that you can grow your client base from regular prospecting and referral business?
  6. Exactly how much knowledge to you have when it comes to your product or service?  Can it be better?

They are interesting questions which many salespeople will answer quite differently.  It is the top salespeople in any profession that are highly independent and driven when it comes to skills and market activity.  Every day they strive to grow their client base and or attract more sales.  They look at ways to do just that.

A ‘great salesperson’ you can be if you decide to move ahead with your skills.  Take charge of your market by knowing where you are right now and planning the factors of personal improvement that will take you forward.