A How-To Guide: Creating a Successful Marketing Plan

You may have heard from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that 20% of micro-businesses don’t succeed in their first two years. Likely, it’s because they lack one thing: a marketing plan. A business owner can have the best-run operation globally and have loyal customers, but they won’t be able to survive and grow without marketing.

Whether it’s done solo or with the help of an agency, a marketing plan outlines everything you do, from paying for ads to building social media profiles to hiring an SEO company. Below are a few points that each marketing plan must contain to succeed.

Know your target audience.

The more specific you can be about whom you target, the more successful your marketing plan is. For example, if you sell outdoor gear for cyclists over 50 years old, then finding magazines or websites that cater to this demographic will enable you to get in front of those most likely to buy products from your business.

Know what you stand for.

Define your business and ensure that every piece of content adheres to that definition. It’s okay to have a range of products or services, but don’t confuse your customer by going off on too many tangents. If they see something when they visit your website and something completely different on your Facebook page, they’re apt to misunderstand who you are and lose interest.

To stand out from the competition, you need to define how you differentiate your product or service offering, pricing, and promotion. Your difference should give your product or service an edge over your competitors. It will help you create brand recognition and stand out from the crowd.

Solve a need and make it effortless for your customer to do business with you.

Don’t try and sell something that people don’t desire or need unless it’s unique or offers remarkable value in some way. Solving a need of your audience is paramount to success. Still, it would help if you made it effortless for your customer to do business with you. Your clients are bombarded with options everywhere they turn, and this overload can lead to decision paralysis. Suppose your competitor has made it simple to access their product or service, and you haven’t. In that case, you’ll lose that potential customer’s business.

A group of employees discuss the marketing plan.

Establish trust and value before asking your customer to do business with you.

Too many brands focus on getting first-time customers instead of cultivating their existing clients. But it’s easier and more cost-successful to keep an existing customer than to get the latest one. So make sure you’re putting your efforts into keeping your clients delighted.

Be wary of following the crowd.

Be distinct, and don’t shy away from being the odd one out. It’s easy to see what everyone else in your industry is doing and emulate them. Still, you won’t stand out if you don’t differentiate yourself from the competition. Don’t be afraid to be who you are as a brand—it’s preferable to trying to be someone else.

Businesses hire a marketing agency to save time and money in difficult times. You may have a vision of what your business could be, but you don’t have the staff or expertise to make it happen on your own. Instead, you can outsource work to an agency with the talent and experience necessary to turn your vision into a reality.

But hiring a marketing agency is an investment, so you need to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck—and that means finding the right agency for the job. The impact of a quality marketing agency has proven to have a substantial effect on business performance.

Marketing Agencies are Connecting

Photo by: Slideshare

You should follow these steps to help you find the right marketing agency for you:

1. Know what you need from a marketing agency and ensure they deliver it.

Don’t hire a digital marketing firm if they can’t prove experience in SEO or PPC management. If you’re looking for content creation or graphic design, ask them for samples of their previous work. See how responsive they are, and ask them questions about what they’ve delivered for clients in the past.

2. Make sure they understand your business goals.

If a marketing agency cannot explain how its services will improve your business—whether through generating more leads or boosting sales conversions—don’t hire them. Here is a list of the top marketing agencies in Portland that may help your business grow and succeed.

Remember, the perfect combination of marketing services is different for everyone; it depends on your audience and what you want to get out of the campaign. The best way to understand this is to know both your business and your industry. Once you are clear on what direction you desire to take your business, you’ll be able to find the best combination of marketing services that will lead you there.

Leave the first comment

Table of contents

Submit your RFP

We can't wait to read about your project. Use the form below to submit your RFP!

Gabrielle Buff
Gabrielle Buff

Just left us a 5 star review

Great customer service and was able to walk us through the various options available to us in a way that made sense. Would definitely recommend!

Stoute Web Solutions has been a valuable resource for our business. Their attention to detail, expertise, and willingness to help at a moment's notice make them an essential support system for us.

Paul and the team are very professional, courteous, and efficient. They always respond immediately even to my minute concerns. Also, their SEO consultation is superb. These are good people!

Paul Stoute & his team are top notch! You will not find a more honest, hard working group whose focus is the success of your business. If you’re ready to work with the best to create the best for your business, go Stoute Web Solutions; you’ll definitely be glad you did!

Wonderful people that understand our needs and make it happen!

Paul is the absolute best! Always there with solutions in high pressure situations. A steady hand; always there when needed; I would recommend Paul to anyone!

Vince Fogliani

The team over at Stoute web solutions set my business up with a fantastic new website, could not be happier

Steve Sacre

If You are looking for Website design & creativity look no further. Paul & his team are the epitome of excellence.Don't take my word just refer to my website "stevestours.net"that Stoute Web Solutions created.This should convince anyone that You have finally found Your perfect fit

Jamie Hill

Paul and the team at Stoute Web are amazing. They are super fast to answer questions. Super easy to work with, and knows their stuff. 10,000 stars.

Paul and the team from Stoute Web solutions are awesome to work with. They're super intuitive on what best suits your needs and the end product is even better. We will be using them exclusively for our web design and hosting.

Dean Eardley

Beautifully functional websites from professional, knowledgeable team.

Along with hosting most of my url's Paul's business has helped me with website development, graphic design and even a really cool back end database app! I highly recommend him as your 360 solution to making your business more visible in today's social media driven marketplace.

I hate dealing with domain/site hosts. After terrible service for over a decade from Dreamhost, I was desperate to find a new one. I was lucky enough to win...

Paul Stoute has been extremely helpful in helping me choose the best package to suite my needs. Any time I had a technical issue he was there to help me through it. Superb customer service at a great value. I would recommend his services to anyone that wants a hassle free and quality experience for their website needs.

Paul is the BEST! I am a current customer and happy to say he has never let me down. Always responds quickly and if he cant fix the issue right away, if available, he provides you a temporary work around while researching the correct fix! Thanks for being an honest and great company!!

Paul Stoute is absolutely wonderful. Paul always responds to my calls and emails right away. He is truly the backbone of my business. From my fantastic website to popping right up on Google when people search for me and designing my business cards, Paul has been there every step of the way. I would recommend this company to anyone.

I can't say enough great things about Green Tie Hosting. Paul was wonderful in helping me get my website up and running quickly. I have stayed with Green...