Anyone in the business of Internet marketing has probably seen
the phrase "marketing plan" over and over again. Unfortunately, a
lot of people seem to think that having a marketing plan is just
another way of saying, "Where will I advertise today?"
I'm a firm believer that your marketing plan should be much more
than this. To use some military terms, I think that a marketing
plan should be "strategic" as well as "tactical." In other words,
we should make sure that we focus on our entire plan, and how it
works as a system, rather than just focusing on individual parts
like classified ads or website copy.
Here are a few tips that I've used in the past to help me create
and visualize a marketing strategy:
* Think Backwards: I've found that the best way to construct a
marketing strategy is to start with the thing you want to happen
at the END of the marketing process, and then work back from
there. That means that the first step in creating your marketing
strategy is to think about where you want to make your sale. Will
it be on the phone? Will it be on your website?
Once you have decided on what your "point of sale" is going to
be, you can then start moving on to the next step, which is
getting your customers to that point. How will you get your
customers to call? How will you get people to visit your website?
This is when you should also think about any other steps that
might be needed. For instance, how much additional information
will the customer need before you send them to the point of sale?
Will they need repeated messages to get them to buy? By answering
these kinds of questions before you start writing, you will be
saving yourself a lot of time and effort later on.
* Make a chart of your plan. The best way to keep track of your
marketing plan is to just create a simple flow chart of your
steps. For instance, a very basic marketing plan might look like
Classified Ad ==> Website (Point of Sale)
More complicated plans might need more steps:
Classified Ad ==> Website (More Information) ==> Phone
Call (Point of Sale)
Sales Letter ==> Follow-up Letter ==> Website (Point of
Classified Ad ==> Autoresponder ==> Website (Point of
In any case, these simple charts you create should help you keep
track of the purpose and nature of each part of your plan.
* Remember that your different steps will have different goals.
For instance, your "point of sale" has your ultimate goal (the
sale), so that is where you need to be your most persuasive.
Therefore, you need to make sure that the copy and information
you have here is rock-solid. After all, this is the foundation of
your entire system, and if the copy here is weak, the entire
process will fail.
As for you other steps, remember that they are NOT there to make
the sale by themselves -- rather, they are intended to either get
the customer to go to the point of sale, or to "prepare" the
customer for the final sales pitch.
Having a well-thought-out marketing plan is an important step in
making your e-business a success. As always, realize that these
tips are in no way comprehensive -- instead, they are just a few
initial thoughts on how to make sure that everything you do,
advertising-wise, fits into a larger marketing system. That way,
you can maximize the effectiveness of your marketing attempts,
which will help save time, money, and sanity!
About the Author
Ron Sathoff is a noted speaker and manager of DrNunley's
http://InternetWriters.com Ron works with business speakers and
writers, helping them with their copy-writing, marketing, and
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