Marketing and Sales Planning

Developing a marketing strategy is a vital part of the initial and ongoing planning process.

The purpose of your marketing strategy is to identify your target market (your customers) and to identify the benefits of what your business offers them. Once you have understood this you can develop the best pricing and selling strategy. 

This process should be something you do regularly, not just when you are starting up. 

Understand your product or service
You can only identify your target market if you fully understand your product's benefits and features. What is the purpose of your product - is it to solve problems, satisfy basic needs, or simply a luxury item? What advantages does your product have over other competitor products? What customer problems can your product or service can solve?
 

Identify your target market
Which specific groups of consumers are you aiming your products or services at?  
Who is most likely to buy from you?  
Are there enough potential customers in the group you are aiming at? 

Consider how different groups of potential customers might use your product or service. For example, younger customers might have different wants and needs to older customers.

You might be selling to other businesses so consider the budget they might have to spend on your product.  

You might find that you have several target markets to focus on. Each market may require a different selling or advertising strategy.


Market Research
Carry out market research on potential customers and competitors to help you understand your target market.

You can look at free government statistics and buy market research reports from commercial providers or you can undertaking your own surveys, discussions or product tests to investigate customers' attitudes and examine questions specific to your business.

For advice on how you can carry out market research for your business and reach more customers, why not take a look at this short video.