Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The 5 New Rules for Developing an Effective Marketing Plan

Summer is coming to a close, and with the economy starting to look up, now is the time for developing an effective marketing plan. But how best to go about it?

In the old days, marketing consultants would prepare a document of as long as 500 pages, which covered every detail for the subsequent five years. This used to be a good way to develop an effective marketing plan, but times have changed. Now, marketing tools have a life span of under two years, and your planning must be focused and efficient! To come up with an effective marketing plan, you will frequently have to make adjustments according to what is happening on the market.

Don’t get me wrong—you do still need to work on developing a marketing plan! But you need a high-level marketing plan that draws on reliable, short-term research. What is the best way to develop such a marketing plan?

1) Ask yourself, what is the best target market? And why? In order to develop an effective marketing plan with focus, and with better success, you need to establish your audience.

2) Set yourself apart from competitors. You need to know how to successfully represent your company and product/service and make sure you stand out from the crowd.

3) Developing an effective marketing plan means establishing the best marketing tools to generate demand. Isolate which lead generation tools are best suited to igniting interest in your product/service.

4) Determine what kind of alliances or partnerships would accelerate awareness and demand for your product/service. This would allow you to move beyond your company resources and have collaborators help push your offering.

5) Determine how you will measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities. If you work on developing a marketing plan without being able to track results, you’re working in the dark.

Developing a marketing plan is crucial to business success. Keep in mind that marketing has evolved incredibly over the years, and with a combination of traditional and Web-based marketing tools, it’s a whole new ball game. Stick with these tips and you’ll have a much more effective marketing plan to achieve business success.