Marketing, Advertising & Sales
Now that you have systematically analyzed your industry, your product, your customers, and the competition, you should have a clear picture of where your company fits into the world.
Now a marketing, advertising and sales plan (M&A) needs to be developed that will reach your intended market. The M & A plan need to be tailored to your business and industry that will achieve projected sales and growth goals.
Marketing is a wide range of activities that is focused on the continual need to meet the demands of customers while getting an appropriate value in return. Marketing involves research and outreach; customer information and customer opinion; strategic planning and company messaging; as well as product pricing and product promotion. Meanwhile, advertising and sales are different disciplines that grow from marketing activities. Advertising (or promotions) is utilized in sending messages to customers about the business. A sale is a process of capturing the attention of the customers to complete sales of the product/service.
- Advertising: In developing advertising/promotion plans, seek to answer how will you get the information out to the customers? What media, why and how often? Will you engage in traditional or social media advertising? Will a mixed media or tiered advertising approach be planned, why or why not? How will you track progress/success with your advertising efforts? What is the image you want to project? Will you need to hire a marketing/graphic design firm? When will your website be launched? What other graphic elements do you need (business cards, stationary, etc.)?
What technologies will you utilize in advertising? What type of website do you need? Who will
develop your website? When will you launch your website? What is the mission of your website, and
how will you track success?
- Advertising Budget: How much will you or can you spend on advertising? What are your priorities with your advertising plan?
- Pricing: Explain your method or methods of setting prices. Does your pricing strategy fit with what was revealed in your competitive analysis? Compare your prices with those of the competition. Are they higher, lower, the same? Why? How important is price as a competitive factor? Do your intended customers really make their purchase decisions mostly on price?
- Sales Forecast: Now that you have described your products, services, customers, markets, and marketing plans in detail, it’s time to attach some numbers to your plan. Prepare a month-by-month sales projection for the first 12 months, then project year two sales. The forecast should be based on your historical sales, the marketing strategies that you have just described, your market research, and industry data, if available. You may want to do a “best guess” forecast as well as a “worst case scenario” projection as this will give you a realistic picture of what can happen both good or bad. Remember to keep notes on your research and your assumptions as you build this sales forecast.