Now that we are well into 2018, it’s time to start thinking about your marketing plan. Your marketing plan is a strategy to get customers to buy your next product. Without a great marketing plan, you’re a best kept secret – which means nobody is seeing your products. There are four main steps to creating an effective marketing plan.

Step 1: Research

You can never do enough research when it comes to marketing. The number one thing you want to research is your target market. Who is your ideal customer? Where do they shop? What do they like? What problems do they have that you can solve through your products? Once you know your target customer inside and out, it will be a lot easier to create a marketing plan that will appeal to them.

Step 2: Plan

This is the largest step and it includes several smaller steps such as setting goals, determining where to advertise, and setting a budget. Start with your overall marketing goal. Some examples include: promoting your business as a whole, introducing a new product, creating a seasonal promotion, or featuring a specific product. Once you know your overall goal, you’ll need to come up with a more specific target such as a sales volume or dollar amount you want to achieve. It’s important that your specific goal is measurable because this will really help you when you get to Step 3.

The two most important things to consider when it comes to planning your marketing are your target customer and your unique selling proposition. What are the key benefits you offer that your competitors don’t? Focus on attention-getting marketing that highlights the benefits of your product, not the features. Forgetting to appeal to your customers on an emotional level is a big digital marketing don’t.

Make sure all your advertising is consistent with your branding and includes strong calls to action to encourage your customers to buy. You’ll also want to make sure you’re choosing the right media to deliver your message so your potential customers see it.

Step 3: Evaluate

Once your plan has been put into action, it’s time to evaluate how well it’s working. Marketing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing. You will constantly need to evaluate each type of advertising to see what worked and what didn’t.

Step 4: Adjust

Marketing is a process of testing and adjusting and then testing and adjusting some more. You’ll want to stop or adjust anything that doesn’t bring you business and increase the activities that create sales for you.

Ineffective marketing is one of the three critical mistakes in the product launch process. Don’t let this happen to you. Follow the steps outlined above to come up with a killer marketing plan for 2018. Pivot International can help. If your marketing plan includes changes to your product design to reduce costs or add features, we offer product design services and global manufacturing services that can take your product to the next level. To learn more about how we can help you develop your product marketing plan for 2018, contact us today.