A simple and workable definition would be “All activities a company carries out to promote products and/or services”. Simple and workable, suitable for each budget, but with major consequences. If your marketing is not effective, then your sales will decrease over time; even the existance of your company can be at stake.
Wheter you are a knifemaker, a manufacturer, retailer, distributor or supplier, a company starts with an idea. And passion! For example for a product or a service where he/she is good at. Or that gives the sense of fulfillment. So you start your own company. Maybe this was years ago or recently. Maybe you already have a marketing plan or maybe you have to adjust your plan or make a new plan.
Having an excellent product is (in general) not enough to establish decent/constant sales on it’s own. You have to deal with competitors, an audience not knowing you are there, not aware of your product/solution or not aware of the excellence of your product. So you need marketing to communicate with the outside world to tell how awesome your product/service is.
Because this is one of the difficult parts of marketing, a lot of business owners tend to postpone this topic. Most of the time the excuse will be “too busy“. For the sake of convenience they forget that generating new business constantly is a necessity for surviving. Or, at the best, they pay for an advertisement in a magazine showing the product and the website address, hoping this will attract the audience.
Marketing is meant to generate new business (with new customers) but also keeps your exisiting customers engaged, generating new business with them as well. Important: your installed customer base, in general, is generating the most of your sales. But new customers are important to keep a constant growth, also compensating leaving customers.
Without marketing, prospects (or potential customers) are not aware of your existence and/or your awesome product/service. On the long term this can mean the end of your company. Using marketing can solve this problem. Reaching out to potential customers will make them aware of your company and your product/service. If your message is effective, you will get leads. The next step will be to convert those prospects into (paying) customers.
Marketing should be an important (perhaps the most important!) part of your strategy! It keeps you sharp, aware of the competition, aware of changing needs from your target audience. It helps you thinking about future developments & trends and planning ahead. You will manage your business smoothly and with a lot more convenience.
Goals & objectives
A well-detailed marketing plan includes the route to your objectives. And of course a time map. It provides coördination and planning. It helps you to work proactive and even being predictive! Worked out like this, it will keep you out of stress and helps you staying focussed.
Elements for your Marketing Plan