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Hi! And welcome to episode 6 of startup marketing. Today, we’re going to talk about creating a marketing plan. If you know you want to increase sales and become more profitable, but you don’t know where to start, this should help! We’re going to define marketing and walk through how to create a marketing plan. Today’s episode is pretty short and sweet. So, let’s dive in. 

Let’s start with the definition of marketing. The technical definition of marketing is: the process of creating, communicating and delivering offers that have value for your clients or customers. Simplified, it’s a value exchange between a business and a person. 

In the corporate world, marketing gets divided into two different parts: strategic and tactical. So, when I worked my 9-5, I had an amazing boss who was responsible for setting the strategic direction of our brand and I was responsible for taking that strategy, creating a tangible plan to execute against it and then making sure our team implemented their pieces of it. 

As a small business owner, you get to do all of those things, which I personally think is way more fun. You get to determine where you want to go with your business AND how you’re going to get there. Now, that can definitely seem overwhelming, because you may not have true marketing experience, but let me tell you, that you can learn the tactical part of marketing and how to make it easy to manage, and as someone who’s passionate enough about whatever you’re selling, you already have a great start to understanding how to strategically position your business and become profitable. 

And that’s my goal here on startup marketing: I want to teach you how to identify the parts of marketing that already come naturally to your brand and make them more official so you can grow your business and become profitable. 

So, how do you wrap your arms around marketing your business? First, as I’ve said from the start, I really believe that great marketing comes from having a great brand. If you haven’t done a deep dive to explore your brand or you don’t even know what your brand is, hop back to the first few episodes where I break down the critical pieces you need to have in place, it will help make this episode make more sense. 

Like I said, marketing is really about communicating your value to your potential customers or clients. In future podcast episodes we’ll dive into the different ways you can market your business, but today I really just wanted to focus on breaking down exactly what marketing is and why it’s so important. 

If you’re serious about growth and making your business profitable, marketing is critical to your daily operations. Without marketing, you won’t effectively reach your target audience or tell them why they should invest in your product or service. In other words, marketing is your key to your growth and increased profitability. Now, that’s not to say it’s the ONLY path to growth and profitability. In fact, your marketing decisions should really be tied to your business goals and decisions and your operational decisions; the nuts and bolts of running your business. These three things should all work together cohesively. But, because I’m a marketing coach, I obviously focus on the marketing portion of this equation. 

Alright, so you know that marketing is critical to your growth and profitability, but what is it that you actually communicate to your clients or customers? 

First, start with your marketing goal. This is a broad, overarching theme for your marketing. If you’re a fitness coach, your goal might be to coach and empower women to lead a healthy lifestyle through workouts and nutrition. It might sound a lot like a mission for you to focus on for the foreseeable future. 

Next, you’re going to take your goal and further refine it into an objective, which is just a fancy way of saying you’re going to make it tangible with numbers. For that fitness coach, an objective would be: signing up 50 new clients by the end of 2020. Now I know what I need to do to accomplish my goal. 

Finally, take your goal and break it down into strategies and tactics. You might have several strategies: build a website, utilize Instagram, utilize Pinterest, attend networking events, send a monthly email, etc. These are the strategies you’re going to deploy to meet your goal and objective. Your tactics are simply the steps you’ll take to complete each strategy. If you’re going to build a website, your tactics might be to: contact a website developer, determine what pages you need on your website, determine what will go on each page and create the content for each page. 

So, to recap: marketing is about communicating your value to your customers and you do that by setting goals and objectives and creating strategies to accomplish those goals. That’s a super simplification, but if you’re starting out and managing all of this on your own, you don’t need to make it more complicated than that. 

This is where having a brand really comes into play. Your marketing should really be a reflection of your brand. And, once you’re ready to start marketing your business, your brand, and all of the elements you worked so hard to create, like key messages and a design aesthetic, makes executing your marketing plan easy. See how it’s all starting to come together? 

If you’re ready to start marketing your business, create that goal, objective and strategies and tactics. To help you, I’ve created an outline that you can download by visiting getauthenticbranding.com/resources. And of course, if this all sounds amazing, but not something you want to execute on your own, reach out to me and we can discuss your needs. Stay tuned this week for bite sized videos and posts of all this information!

Until next time!