Design a Winning Business Based on Your Idea
 Email from Susan
 About this assignment
 What's involved in creating a marketing plan?
 What should I remember about choosing advertising media?
 What do the experts have to say about creating a marketing plan?

What's involved in creating a marketing plan?

It’s important to think of advertising as an investment, rather than an expense. When you sit down to develop your integrated marketing strategy, you’re really trying to maximize your return on that investment. How much does it cost you to acquire a new customer? How does that compare to the average profit you earn from each new customer?

Not all media outlets are created equal. Your advertising tactics should focus on communicating your message via channels that already appeal to the target market for your product or service. When deciding whether or where to place an advertisement, consider the demographics, preferences, and habits of that media’s audience. Do they match those of your target consumer? Your response rate (the number of people who take action based on your advertisement) is likely to be higher if you place advertisements in media regularly consumed by the individuals whom your product or service is designed to appeal.

When planning your advertising tactics, your goal is to reach the largest number of members of your target audience with the greatest amount of repletion that your budget will allow. That’s because of the principle of synergy or lift. Consumers are more likely to respond to your advertisement when they see the same or similar message repeatedly. Just as a child must be presented with a new food an average of seven times before she will try it, the average consumer must see the same or similar advertisement for a product three times before responding. For this reason, you should plan to reach your consumer through multiple vehicles.

When considering your marketing and retention plan, you must also factor in the time that you will need to spend passing out advertisements, knocking on doors, and so on. A common mistake entrepreneurs make when planning a start-up company is to assume that they will personally be able to accomplish too much. Remember that there are only 24 hours in a day. Just as you make a budget for cash expenses, you need to budget your time against all the activities necessary to running the business—operations, marketing, office and administrative activities, etc.

Also keep in mind the importance of closing the feedback loop on your marketing strategy. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of each advertisement, you need to know which mechanism actually brought each customer in the door. Consider asking your customers how they found out about your business—either in person or via a written questionnaire. Use that information to regularly evaluate and adjust your marketing strategy.

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