One of the most common pitfalls for business owners is to make marketing plans without any competitor information. This is akin to devising a battle strategy without knowing who your enemy is! An effective marketing plan is based on information. The better the information, the more effective the plan.
Analyse your competitors’ strengths and weakness. Their strengths are the threats to your business, and their weaknesses are your opportunities. Be as objective as possible, since this will be the backbone of your whole plan. A subjective view can break even the most well-thought out plan because it does not address the reality of the situation.
Now look at the market. Try to determine if there are emerging trends that might be perceived as either a threat or an opportunity for your business.
One important rule about devising a marketing plan is to make one that is appropriate for your business and your market. An extravagant plan is not always effective because it may not address the key factors that will determine your success. Identify your target audience/market and devise your strategies around it – your “sales-pitch,” so to speak. After this, determine what kind of media you would want to use to bring your “sales-pitch” to your target market.
A common, yet highly effective, strategy is to use people’s emotions in making your pitch. This is a potent approach because you do not address your audience’s logic but their hearts. An emotional response is more impulsive and immediate than a logical response.
All the factors needed to understand the competitor and the market consumes a lot of time and attention. It is for this reason that there has been an increased demand for company formation and business solutions professionals. By outsourcing certain functions of setting up and maintaining a business, owners can focus on more crucial battles, like sales and marketing strategies.