Marketing is more than selling and advertising. A good marketing plan is strategic and gets your product or service in front of your potential customers. When you first launch your business, your marketing plan may consist of just making sure that you can make payroll. However, eventually it should take its rightful place as a strategic planning action.
Product Life Cycle
Every product or service has a life cycle, and it’s important to know where you are in the stages so that you can plan accordingly. The stages include:
- Introduction—The introduction stage is defined by the launch of your product. In this stage, you incur significant marketing expenses because you’re trying to get the word out. Generally, sales are low, expenses are high, and profits are nowhere to be seen.
- Growth—During the growth stage, your product begins to take off, your promotion costs decrease, cost of goods decrease, and your profits begin to rise.
- Maturity—The maturity stage signifies the lowest cost of goods, lower production costs, high sales, and is usually the most profitable stage. In this stage, competitors began to enter the market.
- Declining stage—The declining stage represents a decrease in sales and leftover inventory. You should be thinking about reinventing or revising your product during this stage.
Knowing which stage of the life cycle your products is in helps you make educated decisions on where to spend your marketing dollars. If you have to reinvent your product, or revise your product, you’ll generally start the new life cycle with an introduction that overlaps the old cycle. Rarely will you have to start at the beginning again.
Marketing Plan Elements
The mystery of marketing isn’t really a mystery. Building the strategic marketing plan to let people know how your product or service solves their problems takes time. When you include the necessary elements, you’ll discover that your plan converts prospects into paying customers. Ensure that your marketing plan includes the following five elements:
- Passion—Your marketing message has to have energy and spark. There needs to be a hero willing to fight the villain of success. If you can’t get excited about your message, then don’t do it. You need passion that often involves sacrifice to make something big happen.
- Activity—Marketing dreams that come true and increase sales are never random. It often requires a tremendous amount of promotion, advertising, and energy to create a successful outcome. Being timid and passive won’t work in capitalism. You must make a bold proclamation so that others can take notice.
- Scarcity—Creating the perception that your product is scarce will add tremendous marketing energy to your plan. Do this intentionally, but with integrity. When you can create perception that your product is rare, people will want to have it. It’s natural.
- Urgency—You should try to convey a sense of urgency because without it, desire loses its value. Establish a pricing structure that limits the number of items at a certain price.
- Momentum—Scarcity, urgency, activity, and passion are four elements in a successful marketing plan. However, if your outcomes are limited to your best efforts, then your outcomes are too limited. Businesses are often in such a hurry to get to market that marketing strategy is often ignored. It cost a lot of money to make this type of mistake. Be thoughtful about your approach to your customers so that you will be given the opportunity to serve them with your product or service.
How’s your strategy coming along?
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