Develop a Marketing Plan for 2011 to Maximize an IAQ & Environmental Business
|Happy Holidays |
With 2010 coming to close it is that time of the year to look back at what marketing strategies worked and which didn't over the past year. As we have time to reflect over the holidays it is also time for those companies that have not yet written their marketing plan for 2011 to put pen to paper.
Having had the privilege to speak at 11 Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) chapters this year I was surprised to learn how few companies have any type of a written marketing plan.
Even if a company only consists of a few employees it is still important to have a written marketing plan that projects out for the following 6 to 12 months. Some people reading this will no doubt be saying to themselves, "We work at a small firm and we all wear many hats, I don't have time to sit down and write a 20 page marketing plan for next year."
First off a marketing plan is essential to maximize growth, even in a small firm. Secondly, a marketing plan doesn't need to be a 20 page document. In fact, a simple 2 to 3 page plan may be ideal.
Hopefully I have convinced you of the need to put a marketing plan on paper. If I have succeeded at that then the next question is what should be on that plan. Below are some topics that should be included:
· Goals - Document your marketing goals over the time frame covered in the marketing plan. This could be to increase sales by a certain amount, to reach out to a certain number of existing and potential customers, or to implement new marketing channels.
· Methods - Write down how you are going to reach the goals in the marketing plan. If you want to reach out to potential customers how will you do it? This could be through electronic newsletters, social media, direct mail, public speaking, internet hits, press releases, exhibiting at tradeshows, getting articles published, online videos and so on.
· Frequency - Marketing and sales are both number games to some degree. You can have the best product or service out there, but if no one knows about it then there won't be sales. Marketing also takes repeated exposures to be effective. Few times can a company run one print advertisement for example and expect to see results. In fact, many marketing experts say that a message needs to be seen at least 7 times before it is even noticed, potentially many more times before it leads to a sale. With this in mind set frequency goals for the marketing efforts outlined in the marketing plan.
· Timeframes - I have seen many well meaning companies establish goals and methods to reach those goals, but have unfortunately neglected to set timeframes. For example if a company wants to establish an electronic newsletter in 2011 then also establish dates for each issue to be sent, etc.
· Assign Tasks - Particularly for companies that don't have a dedicated marketing department it is essential to assign tasks to individuals or teams. Many small companies, that due to their size require employees to wear many hats, may find that marketing functions are often given the lowest priority because employees have to deal with situations that arise daily. If a marketing task is assigned to someone then the chances that they will take ownership and see it through to completion is far more likely than a task left unassigned.
· Budget - Establish a budget to be able to achieve the marketing goals. If the budget is low then try to maximize marketing efforts that require little capital. These include electronic newsletters, websites, social media, press releases, public speaking and having articles published are just a few possibilities. If the budget allows it then be sure to include things like paid advertising, tradeshow exhibiting and perhaps paid internet advertising.
· Methods for Evaluating Success - Many aspects of marketing take time and repeated exposures so keep that in mind when you establish how you will measure the success of your marketing plan. Certainly increased revenues is one method, but also look at such factors as hits to the company website, emails, volume of inbound phone calls and other forms of business inquiries.
Most economic indicators show that 2011 should be an even better year than 2010. To take your company to the next level start off the year right by taking the time to conduct a marketing planning meeting with those key individuals within your company to begin the process of establishing a written marketing plan for the new year.
Cochrane & Associates, LLC, the environmental, mold, HVAC and indoor air quality industries' only dedicated marketing, public relations and business development consulting firm works with clients to develop ways to maximize their marketing efforts and ROI. We hope you write a marketing plan for 2011 to grow your company to the next level. We also invite you to visit our newest venture, the IAQ Video Network www.IAQTV.com and submit any videos you may have for inclusion on the website.
For more information about how Cochrane & Associates can help your business, contact us at: