Marketing Q & A
Marketing Q&A
By Al Jabaly


Al Jabaly is a certified marketing and business consultant with over 20 years of small business experience. Email your questions to al@FloridaBA.org. All questions will be answered via e-mail. Some of the most interesting questions will be posted in this weekly column. For further information, Al can be reached at 1-888-899-3190

 

 “AL. HOW DO I WRITE A MARKETING PLAN?


You can hire a professional marketing company to write you one, but count on $350 as a minimum. You can also buy a software program from an office supply store that walks you through it. A good program costs easily $200+. Finally, you can write one yourself using the following outline:

1) PREPARE A MISSION STATEMENT:
It describes the nature of the business, services offered and markets served, all in a few sentences.

2) LIST & DESCRIBE TARGET MARKETS:
List and describe your potential groups of clients

3) DESCRIBE YOUR SERVICES:
List the services you currently offer and also the new ones you want or will be offering, and determine what it will
take to provide these services in terms of staff, cost, expertise, etc.

4) DETAIL THE MARKETING AND PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES:
The most important aspect marketing is to understand what makes someone want to buy your service and what type
of marketing strategy they will respond to. You need to learn their needs, problems, industry trends, etc. Basic
marketing strategies include:

A) Networking:
Participate in discussion groups on or off line, join chambers, business associations, etc.

B) Direct Marketing:
Send out sales letters, flyers, cards, etc. on a regular repeated basis to your prospects.

C) Advertise in Print Media:
These include newspapers, directories, coupon books, etc. Include different offers to be able to track the response
and effectiveness of that media. But this must done on a continuous basis.

D) Training Programs:
Participate in training programs offered by chambers, , companies, municipalities, etc.

E) One-to-one Selling:
Make presentations to an individual or a group at their office or company.

F) Publicity Campaigns:
Send out press releases through local papers and radio and television stations

G) Trade Shows:
Attend, and participate, in local and regional trade shows.

5) IDENTIFY & UNDERSTAND THE COMPETITION:
Show how you will position yourself in relation to them.

6) ESTABLISH QUANTIFIABLE MARKETING GOALS: set number of clients you want to acquire per period, the number of people that you want to reach, amount of income you want to generate, etc. so you can always know where you actually stand versus your marketing plan. Be realistic and practical.

7) MONITOR YOUR RESULTS CAREFULLY: do it on a regular basis, weekly and monthly.