Owning a small business isn't easy, especially if you are running it alone.
Between moving products, taking orders, paying bills, and taking care of family, it is easy to lose track of everything you need to do.
Using a calendar template to organize and manage your marketing strategy will ensure you don't drop the ball with one of the most important parts of your business.
Developing a Marketing Strategy First, research and identify who your target clientele is, and what characteristics they share that make them valuable to you.
If you have developed software that organizes and manages an online calendar, you probably will not want to target 14-year-old skateboarders.
But it is not enough just to identify an age category or an activity your target market shares - you need to consider socio-economic status, buying habits, and potential for up-selling.
I may be in Porsche's target age group, but I am definitely not in their target tax bracket! Second, after identifying who you will be targeting, research and explore venues for your advertising message.
The demographics of your desired customers will play a key role in deciding which venues to pursue, so don't forget about them.
Examples of marketing venues available to you include newspaper ads, bus stop banners, sports team sponsorships, online marketing (including pay-per-click campaigns and search engine optimization), local television spots, and, if you're feeling extra ambitious, the Super Bowl.
Finally, after identifying your desired customers and selecting which marketing venues you will pursue, create a marketing calendar.
Calendar templates are available online for download and use.
A calendar template typically divides time into weeks, providing a space each week to record what event or marketing method you are focusing on; how much money has been and will be spent on the activity; deadlines, contacts, and important notes; and what the results of the marketing ploy were.
Once you have these three facets in place, you are ready to invest some real money into promoting your company.
Implementing a Marketing Campaign With your marketing calendar template in hand and wallet in pocket, you are ready to invest in the marketing campaign you have designed.
The nice thing about using a marketing calendar is that it takes what could be the impossible task of keeping track of and following up on all your marketing endeavors, and it breaks it up into one week chunks.
This feature allows you to focus on each marketing activity and the results it produces.
The prospect of launching an online marketing campaign, billboard and bus stop banners, and newspaper advertisements all at the same time is formidable at best and impossible at worst! Unless you absolutely cannot afford to wait one more week to launch them all, try phasing them in one at a time.
The marketing calendar template will help you keep track of what is going on, and where you need to turn your attention next.
Evaluating Your Campaign During and after every marketing endeavor you perform each week, fill out the important spaces on your calendar template.
When you receive the results of that specific campaign (i.
more visitors to your site or more customers purchasing the advertised product, etc.
), compare it to other advertisement venues or practices you have tried.
Was it more or less successful? Did it produce the desired result? What was your return on investment for this particular campaign? Did it improve your bottom line? Without keeping careful track of each activity and its results it would be difficult to answer these questions.
And if you can't answer these questions you'll never know if you're throwing money away each month, or under-investing in advertising that could be giving you a huge ROI.
In addition to constantly evaluating the specific advertisements and marketing campaigns you run, it will be helpful to systematically reevaluate your target audience.
As your business grows and develops throughout the years, the products you sell or the services you provide may evolve from one demographic to another.
Never get too comfortable with your marketing strategy - be alert of changes in technology and techniques that can benefit you and your company and take advantage of those resources.
Launching a successful marketing campaign for your small and home business can be difficult, but it is not impossible.
Properly creating, implementing, and evaluating your marketing strategy may be the last three steps you need to take to move into Porsche's target demographic.