Plenty of startups try to determine the perfect business model to take to market only to find that the market doesn’t need, want or understand what they are presenting.
The fact is most books or courses on business models take this into consideration by suggesting trial and error scenarios and market hypothesizes prior to launch.
Any business model, or plan for that matter, is little more than a guess and I believe that your best chance for getting that guess right is to build your business model based on a marketing strategy.
This assumes the role a fully developed marketing strategy actually should play in determining the direction of an organization. The fact is most people, if they consider marketing strategy at all, stop at a core message, identity elements and perhaps a sales proposition and call it a strategy.
A marketing strategy is how you plan to use the resources available to you to build an ongoing case that your business, products and services are the obvious choice for a narrowly defined ideal customer.
If you accept this expanded view of marketing strategy then I would suggest you answer the following questions in an attempt to measure where your strategy stands today and where it could go if your understood and integrated it fully as your business model
- What about this job, work, or organization are you passionate about?
- How does this business serve a higher purpose for you and your customers?
- What value do you really bring that benefits your market in ways that your competitors wouldn’t dream of proposing
- What’s the dominant personality trait that you need your customers to associate with your business?
- What does an ideal client look like?
- What is the simple 10-word core message that explains and excites?
- How will your market become aware of your business?
- How will your market come to trust that you have the answers?
- What are the revenue sources that you can tap to grow this business?
- Can you describe the perfect customer experience throughout your organization?
- What resource gaps and constraints do you need to overcome to achieve your strategy?
- What partnerships do you need to create in order to achieve your strategy?
- What would the result of using this strategy model to run your business look like?
Depending upon who you ask a marketing plan is either a necessary evil or tremendous waste of time. – That’s such a shame, but I think I’ve finally come to understand why this is.
A well crafted marketing plan should be one of the most important strategic steps a business takes, but there’s a disconnect. Marketing plans get created, but never used because, once put to paper or ether, they don’t easily relate to the real life experience of a business. They get created but never installed.
- At a minimum your marketing plan should include:
- a description of your ideal customer
- your core message (vs competitors)
- your key marketing strategy
- your communications tools
- your lead generation plan (advertising, public relations, referral)
- your web plan (yes, with a blog)
- your lead conversion plan
- your customer loyalty plan
- your marketing calendar
- your marketing budget
- your key strategic indicators
- scads of sales, revenue and profit projections
Now, the creation of the above is a great start and a beneficial exercise for any business, new or existing, but here’s what’s needed to truly make your marketing plan work.
Your marketing must have a life and the only way it can do that is if you throw it into the middle of your day to day business. As a document it’s a fantasy and it stops breathing the minute you open the door each day. A truly effective marketing plan must integrate into the reality of the stuff you do each day.
Here’s how the perfect marketing plan would work.
You create the plan as prescribed above, you bake the appropriate elements of your plan into your CRM system, you tie the plan to your actual sales, you flow the plan projections into your bookkeeping software and you circulate actual results through your key indicators, automatically updating your projections. Now that would make a living, breathing powerhouse of a marketing plan and, now, your marketing plan would actually run your business. (As it should be)
These two posts were compiled to help you in your pursuit of the perfect marketing plan to propel your business towards achieving your goals. To read more from the founder of Duct Tape Marketing and award winning author John Jantsch, visit his blog at https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/