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Creating a marketing plan for maximum return on investment

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    Ideas: Creating a marketing plan for maximum return on investment

    Creating a marketing plan will help you ensure maximum return on investment. The first step is to articulate what your product or service is, what the benefits to the customer are and why it is better or different to the competition. If you don't know this how will you create a compelling sales message that makes potential customers want to buy?

    How will you price your product or service? Price low to achieve market penetration and share or position yourself as a quality brand that commands a premium price?
    The next stage is identifying your target audience and your ideal customer. What do they read, where do they hang out and what are they interested in are the types of questions you should be asking to help you decide which are the most effective channels to communicate with them.

    What do you want your marketing to achieve? Is it sales growth, new customers, increased profile, or all of the above? Having clear objectives gives you something to work towards and measure against. You need an end goal and a strategy to get there. Next you need to determine your marketing tactics.

    There are broadly two categories.

    The first, offline marketing, covers things such as print advertising, direct mail and sales exhibitions.

    The second, online marketing includes anything involving the Internet such as website, email marketing, e-commerce and pay per click. Keep referring back to your target audience and think about what’s best for them.

    A marketing campaign aimed at teenagers will almost certainly need to involve online marketing whereas this would be less relevant for a campaign aimed at the over seventies. Your available budget will also determine what you can do. A mix of marketing tactics combined as an integrated campaign is generally more effective than one tactic in isolation.

    A marketing plan should be constantly evaluated and measured. Marketing is not an exact science and can be a process of trial and error. So it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns and adjust as you go along. A good marketing plan is one that is constantly evolving.

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