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A marketing plan is a must-have for your outreach strategy. Without a plan, you can’t know whether or not you’re successfully reaching your goals. It makes finding your way and monetizing that much easier when you know exactly what your plan of attack is.

Product Description and Potential Roadblocks
Start by writing out a description of each and every product or service that you plan to (or already) offer. Write out goals for each of these products and services, but make sure that you write them concisely, and make them realistic. You want these to be things that you can obtain in a reasonable amount of time.

In this section, you’re going to want to expend a fair amount of energy in analysis. You’ll need to write three distinct sections to get a good handle on your company, the market, and your competitors. These are your subheadings; Ideal Customers, Main Competitors and Your Company. When looking internally at your company, be as honest as possible. List your market share (an estimation is fine), the company culture (either that you have or that you envision), your focal point (what is the overall mission) and any weaknesses that you have or foresee. When analyzing your customers, you’ll want to know the demographics of the group; what is the average age, gender and social standing of your ideal client? Understanding this will help you understand what motivates your clients to spend money. Then, take a good hard look at the successes and failures or shortcomings of any market competitors that you may have. What are their market shares? Why and how are they in the position that they are in?

Marketing Strategy
Based on the evaluations done, which marketing strategy is best suited to your clients in order to inspire growth within your company? That will be the marketing strategy that you develop as your focal point. If you sell multiple products, you will want to develop an overall branding plan, but also individual strategies as well. These should include pricing, packaging, quality and a warranty where applicable. Give consideration to what discounts you will give, if any, and under what circumstances you will give them. Next, give careful consideration to your distribution angle. Are you shopping this product out to be carried in a store, or are you looking to distribute online at first?

Ensure that you have a good idea of how and where you are going to promote your company. What is your budget? Where will you advertise? Is your product one that would benefit from high-traffic sample or promotional programs? What about an affiliate program for your loyal customers? The sky is the limit when it comes to promotions, but remember that you want to draw attention while encouraging word of mouth, and you never want to cheapen yourself or your brand.

The final key to ensure that you’re marketing the best way possible is to make accurate projections. Break down your expenses and your expected returns. This data is important to draw up, and to use at a later date to see what works for your business and what doesn’t.

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