The Nigerian Small Business Marketing Guide (Part 4)
Have you been following our marketing guide for small Nigerian businesses? Catch up on previous steps here.
Step 5. Create a marketing plan.
Have you ever tried to find a cockroach in a dark room? It's quite difficult, isn't it? That's what trying to market a business successfully without a plan is like. With unplanned marketing, the potential for wasting resources is very high. Businesses have been known to fail because they did not figure out the right strategy for marketing before committing precious resources to it.
A good marketing plan is a simple explanation of your marketing strategy. It must include:
i. A profile of your target market.
For effective marketing, you need to define your target market as precisely as possible. Key demographic data you should have about your prospective customers include their age range, average income, location and gender. You should also have a general knowledge of their behavioural patterns and what is most likely to influence their buying decisions.
Read the first part of this guide to learn more about profiling your target market.
ii. A brief analysis of your business' strengths and weaknesses, opportunities in your market segment and threats to your business.
Use your answers to the following questions to list your business' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats:
a) Strengths (advantages over competitors):
- What does your business do better than its competitors?
- What advantages can your business offer customers?
- From a survey, what do people think are the strengths of your business?
- What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
b) Weaknesses (disadvantageous characteristics)
- How are competitors better than your business?
- What can your business improve immediately?
- From a survey, what do people think are the weaknesses of your business?
c) Opportunities (market features your business can exploit)
- What opportunities are available to your business in your target market?
- What opportunities can you create for your business by removing its weaknesses?
- What opportunities can you create for your business by using its strengths?
d) Threats (features that can hinder your business)
- Does your business have a weakness that can lead to its failure?
- What difficulties does your business currently face?
- Is your business paying back a loan?
iii. A list of your intended marketing activities.
This includes selecting your marketing channel(s) and developing communication materials to reach prospective customers.
iv. Your marketing goals.
Set measurable objectives you intend to achieve through your marketing activities.
Precise goals such as "Sell to 500 people in Ibadan" and "Increase revenue by 10% at the end of second quarter" are acceptable, unspecific goals such as "Reach people in Abuja" and "Create awareness" are not.
v. A method for measuring the success of your marketing activities.
When setting marketing goals, be sure they can be easily measured. Even the best marketing plan is useless if the success of activities cannot be determined.
vi. Marketing duties and roles.
The best way to make sure your marketing plan is not implemented is to leave marketing responsibilities unassigned. Be sure that everyone involved in marketing has a task and a deadline that must be met. Holding everyone accountable is the best way to guarantee their commitment.
The final part of this guide will teach you how to create the ideal marketing budget for your business.
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