Marketing planning should always begin with the customer

The marketing cycleAt the end of the day the “customer is always right.”  They will choose businesses who make them feel special and who address their needs better than the competition.  There are several major steps in a marketing plan:  all of which revolve around the customer.

The image of the “marketing wheel” illustrates the six major steps to plan you marketing investments:

  1. Targeting whom you want to approach
  2. Positioning your products and services to meet the needs of these targeted people
  3. Promoting your products and services using Integrated Marketing Communications to generate leads.
  4. Sell your offerings to generate revenue.
  5. Service your customers and clients, so they will buy more and tell others how good your offerings are.
  6. Measure the results of your marketing initiatives and make adjustments as necessary.

Targeting

Marketing planning should start with identifying your primary customer segment(s), their characteristics and their needs.  No matter where they are in the marketing cycle,  businesses need to focus on the needs of their customers and prospects.  A company’s marketing results will be more effective after identifying specifically with whom they want to communicate.  The adage “build it and they will come” just does not work with marketing initiatives.

Positioning

Now, how does your business differ from others providing similar products or services?  In other words what is your

  • unique selling proposition or
  • competitive advantage?

Articulating these advantages in terms of how they meet the needs of your customers and prospects leads to the proper positioning of your offerings.  Just look at how various auto manufacturers have positioned their many products to crate an apparent advantage in the eyes of their prospects and customers.

Promoting

Only now, is a business ready to begin to promote their offerings with a higher probability of success.  This knowledge helps a business to decide where they should invest their advertising dollars

  • your business website
  • postal mail
  • e-Mail
  • newsletters (print or electronic)
  • social web sites
  • newspapers and magazines
  • and so on

Servicing

How do your customers want to be serviced?  Some people want simple and inexpensive access to support.  Others want a more personal luxury experience.  Some customers prefer internet based support with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), discussion forums, and e-mail access.  Which options are best for your customers?  Often superior service creates a very powerful competitive advantage that influences your product positioning.

Measuring

How are your marketing investments performing?  We encourage our clients to establish a measurement plan so they know when they are making progress and when they are not.  A customer satisfaction measurement is just as important as financial metrics.  Response rates and conversions are good measures of how your marketing initiatives are working.


We can help you to develop or to enhance your marketing plan.  We can start at the beginning with targeting or use the work you have already completed and go from there.  Ewing Consulting has over thirty-five years of sales and marketing experience.  We apply that experience to the needs of our clients with every engagement.  Our clients benefit from our experience rather than having to train a new comer in the finer points of marketing.

How can we help you to Get Started today?