9 Steps For Creating A Successful Marketing Plan For Your Online Business

Creating a marketing plan is a prerequisite for any person conducting business. Whatever business you are involved in, you need to base your marketing campaigns on a well laid out plan so that you do not lose track and run your business blindly. Have you ever created one?

Surprisingly, not many online marketers think about creating a marketing plan. They just begin their online businesses and end up jumping from one failed marketing method to another. But if you are a success-conscious marketer, you need to have a WRITTEN MARKETING PLAN to avoid doing things wrongly. In this article, I would like to share with you 9 steps for creating a successful marketing plan.

1. To create a successful marketing plan, you need to read to understand the different online marketing and advertising methods. If you are a newbie, you need most importantly to equip yourself with some knowledge on online marketing before you create your marketing plan.

2. Understand your market and competition. Find out first what the marketplace is, what happens in it and what its trends are.

Additionally, get information on your competitors by finding out who they are, what they sell, how they sell it, what their marketing methods are, what makes them stand out, how their websites are, what their weaknesses are and what they don’t offer that you could offer. You can easily get this information by searching on the internet.

3. Get to know properly your targeted customers. You should know who they are, how and when they buy, what their problems are, which solutions they are looking for, how they respond and find what they buy, what they say and what needs to fill the gap.

4. Discover the position of your business. Find out more about the product you intend to sell or promote and how you will position your business. Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, your field of business and expertise, lives and challenges of your customers and the different niche groups in your line of business.

5. Develop your marketing messages. Your plan should entail in-depth information on what your brand is, what your unique selling point, strap-line and marketing slogans will be. Remember that your messages have to cause action to be taken. It’s a reason why you need to develop them carefully and strategically.

6. Set your marketing goals. A successful marketing plan clearly spells out the vision for your business, what you want to achieve, your specific achievable goals and your priorities. Your goals have to be stated clearly in that they are not only SMART but they are also SMARTER (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound, extended and rewarding).

7. Determine your marketing methods. Get to know the marketing methods competitors use and what works for you best basing on your strengths, knowledge, skills and ability. Focus on how you will get new customers and maintain old ones as well.

8. Develop your budget. When developing your budget, base on the marketing methods you have selected to determine the total cost of your marketing campaigns, the resources you need to invest in your marketing and what your return on investment will be. Having a marketing budget is a key to creating a successful marketing plan.

9. Map your marketing strategy. Creating a successful marketing plan requires you to focus on how you will progress in each and every aspect of your plan. You should focus on what is needed to set up your business and the steps and practical actions to be taken. Project your anticipated obstacles and deadlines and how you will track, evaluate and review your strategy.

Finally, having a marketing plan is a necessity for any success-conscious online marketer. Always have it written down and make it as simple as you can. Your marketing plan serves as your guide. It’s your commitment that helps you to walk your road to success in a systematic manner. If you have been doing things haphazardly, it’s high time you created a marketing plan for your online business.

The Multi Level Marketing Product – Is Yours the Right One?

The Right Multi Level Marketing Product – What to Look for And What to Avoid

Choosing the best MLM opportunity for you involves many factors. Whatever the network marketing company sells is just one element that you really need to examine . . .but it is an extremely important one. . .

According to Darren Falter, author of “How to Select a Network Marketing Company” and the top network marketers that he interviewed. . .there are 7 qualities that are absolutely essential for a multi level marketing product to bring you success.

You might already know in the back of your mind what these qualities are but it’s always better to put them down in black and white.

1. Is the product consumable? This could very well be the most important point in the whole list. It may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many network marketing products are NOT consumable. Ask yourself. .will the product you are selling be used (and used up) on a regular basis? Or is it something that you buy once and it lasts forever? You want to pick something that you can sell again and again to the same customers. Some products are more consumable than others and that’s fine. Just make sure that your multi level marketing product is used on a regular basis.

2) Is the product or service emotional? Does it stir up feelings of excitement and enthusiasm? Many network marketing goods represent people’s needs. But, although they may not realize it, most people are more likely to buy what they really want than what they really need. Vacuum cleaners are necessary. . .but are they exciting?

3) Is the multi level marketing product suitable for the direct sales model? Or do consumers usually go to retail establishments for this type of good? If your product isn’t traditionally sold in the direct sales model, it might create some difficulties for you in your business. If people are not used to purchasing the product through direct sales, you’ll more than likely have a hard time getting them to change their minds now.

4) Does the multi level marketing product stand out in any way? Does it have a unique angle? A good item should be unique. . .but it has to be unique in a believable way. If something seems too good to be true, it’s probably worth it to do a little extra research. What makes a product unique? Things that contribute to a product’s uniqueness include whether it is the first on the market, if it has a patented ingredient or trademark, a celebrity endorsement or even a out-of-the-ordinary type of packaging.

Is the multi level marketing product hugely popular right now? Timing is everything. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s better to start selling a product before it’s really popular or to keep selling a product that has lost its luster or appeal in today’s economy.

6) How stable is the multi level marketing product? How long has it been around and how long will it last? An MLM that’s been in business for at least 5 years is a pretty safe bet. Don’t be fooled by promises of more potential with a start-up company. They are also the most likely to have problems and fold.

7) Do people perceive the multi level marketing product to be worth what they pay for it. . .or even worth more than they pay for it? Would they buy it in a retail store at the same price? The product must have value.

The multi level marketing product is just one factor that should contributes to your decision about joining a network marketing company or sticking with the one you are with currently.

You’ll find lots of network marketing companies whose products pass the test above. Put a quality multi level marketing product together with the other important elements for success in network marketing and you’ve got the basic layout for a profitable business.

Do You Have A Marketing Plan?

Not having a marketing plan is like building a home without a blueprint, you may get the job done, but it will be completely by accident. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to rely on an accident. I want a sound plan so I know what steps to take and when.

So how do you create a marketing plan that will work? You take from those that are successful and see how they have done it. No matter what your niche there is someone that has been there and done the ground work for you.

A good marketing plan must start with connections and the best way to make connections is with social websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you don’t have an account with these three I suggest you get one fast. Set up your profile on each as completely as you can. This should be step one for anyone with an online business and where you should start.

Any marketing plan for an online business also needs backlinks to make your presents stronger. The easiest way to get backlinks is from forums. Be sure to select one that is clearly in your niche. Look to your favorite search engine for forums that fit, then monitor them for a while to get a feel for them. Once you feel comfortable with it start a thread or post comments to thread that are already there.

With any marketing plan there must be strategy for getting traffic, either free or paid. Free traffic comes from search engines and SEO practices are responsible for your success here. Paid can be anything from PPC or banner ads. Either method will get you targeted traffic if done right and advertising is something that has to be included.

Keeping to your plan is something you have to commit to from its inception. If it is sound it will work, but you have to give it time. Once you have started you need to stay consistent. It has to do with branding, which is mostly about name or product recognition and included in every marketing plan I’ve seen that was effective.

Since it is so important to your success it must be carefully constructed, including not only getting traffic, but converting traffic. This is where copywriting comes in to play. If you don’t know much about copywriting I suggest you learn or put hiring a good copywriter in your budget.

Every online marketing plan should include:

  • An easy-to-navigate website
  • Identify your target audience
  • Strategize to get traffic to that site
  • Any ideas to brand your name or product
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses
  • A budget to pay for advertising and copywriting
  • Look at areas that need to be outsourced
  • Develop the basics of marketing
  • Determine how to combat your competition
  • Prioritize your basic steps

Each and every year you need to review and reassess it. Scrutinize each facet of it to see what worked well and what did not. The strategies that work well should be analyzed to see why it worked and how to make it better. Also look at any way this strategy can be utilized in other areas of your marketing efforts.

The marketing plan is the lifeblood of a business. Its success is determined by the research done at the onset of the planning process. Correct evaluations are a must for its success.

A marketing plan that works well is a beauty to behold for the business owner. Sales and high profits are the reward. Before you do anything you need to assess the feasibility of the product and the best way to do this is by creating it as best you can.

If the marketing plan elements seem to fall into place after your research is done you will know you have a winner. If however your elements don’t seem to look all that promising you will know that you need to rethink your product to change it and make it more conducive before going on with the project.

Once you have a marketing plan you will see just how important it is and why you need to carefully construct it. The real needs of the business are dependent on the marketing plan.

Direct Marketing Or A Call To Action

Direct marketing is attractive to marketers because it calls for the consumer to take action, without the intervention of any kind of media. The other aspect of this type of marketing is that it sends messages directly to consumers. How often have we been watching TV and following an advertisement we are called to take action by dialing a toll-free telephone number or to visit a website. This aspect of direct marketing places more emphasis on the response from consumers, regardless of the medium selection and how it is delivered. Direct marketing is attractive to many marketers primarily due to the positive effect can be measured directly. There are benefits and drawbacks to this type of marketing.

Due to the fact that there is a positive effect it can generate, direct marketing is attractive to many marketers. If, for example, the marketer sends out a million solicitations by mail, it is possible that ten thousand customers can be tracked as having responded to the promotion. What the marketer benefits from is that they can say that the campaign led directly to the responses. The negative results cannot be measured as easily. Those results are vague and indeterminate since the number of recipients who were offended by the junk mail or spam, cannot be as easily measured. For this reason, it has been a challenge to measure responses and results. While this form of marketing is liked by the marketer, some direct marketing efforts have not been well received due to generating unwanted solicitations. Many times direct mail is irrelevant to the recipient and regarded as junk mail as unwanted emails since they are considered spam.

Many marketing companies have found that while they may have begun as a direct marketing company, they have had to diversify to offer integrated marketing. This diversification is largely due to the declining of budgets and the increase of audiences. By expanding their package of marketing communications, these agencies can offer more than directing marketing but also cover digital, events and advertising, to name a few.

By calling a consumer to take action can on many different forms, direct mailing takes on many different forms. Those forms are direct mail, which is sometime considered and is junk mail. Paper mail is delivered to postal customers in a given area. Another form is telemarketing in which telemarketers contact consumers by telephone. This form has met with some unpopularity in cold-call advertising, and in turn, led to the “no-call lists.” The next form is email marketing, which may have surpassed telemarketing, but has also led to a greater concern is spam. The next form is leaflet distribution, which generally targets the local consumer to a given area. This form tends to be popular with fast food industries, and other local businesses. Broadcast faxing is now less popular due to the fact that it is now illegal in the United States. Other forms of direct marketing has been the emergence of voice mail marketing, couponing, direct response television marketing-the birth of the infomercial, direct selling-companies such as, Tupperware, and lastly, integrated campaigns, which is the blend of several different marketing forms.

RESOURCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_marketing