Overview: Marketing is how you let your customers know what you are selling, the value you give them with and why your offer is better than your competitors. Four core elements are found in good marketing 1) It matches your offer to customer needs, 2) The value position is attractive to customers, 3) Your marketing clearly shows your advantage, 4) Your marketing is coordinated across channels.

Have a Plan: Businesses  that market successfully always have a marketing plan. This plan usually covers one year and is reviewed quarterly.

Be Inclusive: Marketing plans should involve staff and management. This ensures everyone contributes, understands and supports it.

Look inward: Your business has a unique personality and identity. Identify and list its strengths, weaknesses and goals. Prioritise them in importance

Strategy Focus: Pull the lists together. Where your unique identity and your target market meet are the points of your Marketing focus

Role play: Put yourself and staff in the customers place. How and what would best convince you to do business? Keep this in mind as you develop the plan.

Narrow the Focus: Now focus on the things that are most aligned to your identity, appeal to your target market and provide an advantage.

Types of Metrics: Leads, presentations, phone calls, links, blog posts, page views, conversion rates, proposals and trips, revenue per customer...

Types of Metrics: Leads, presentations, phone calls, links, blog posts, page views, conversion rates, proposals and trips, revenue per customer.

Set Targets: Metrics are only useful when they are judged against targets. Set meaningful and attainable targets for each metric.

Compare / Contrast: Use your metrics and results to compare and contract your business with norms in your business sector.

Review / Revise: Your marketing plan should evolve over time. Your business changes. Reviews keep your marketing and businesses aligned.

Brand Marketing: Your marketing plan should focus on and reinforce your brand identity. Ensure campaigns are brand aligned and brand supportive.

Market Message: Clearly define what and how you want to say to the market. This includes text, speech, video and graphics.

Marketing Channels: Clearly define how you will get your message to the market. How do they get information? What channels do they use?

Alignment: Ensure that all your internal and external marketing materials are updated. This avoids customer and staff confusion about your offer.

Print Media: Plan print media use well in advance. Test your messages and visuals with friends, family and customers before you launch a campaign.

Web sites: Ensure your web designer is fully involved and that your web site is updated. The revised site should be active when the campaign starts.

Social Media: Update all social media sites to use the new marketing messages and visuals. All social media should be ready at launch.

Brochures etc: Brochures and other hand outs should be replaced with materials that are designed for the new campaign.

Promote it: Use the new campaign as a reason to reconnect with past, present and potential customers.

Give Incentives: Use competitions, discounts, special offers and other means to add weight to the campaign launch.

Monitor it: Gather face to face feedback from customers. Carefully watch comments on social media and web comments.

Thank People: After a period of time thank people for their support. Tell them of the impact. This makes them feel valued and more likely to do business with you.