A marketing plan is a layout as to how you’ll proceed with your business and make customers aware of your offerings. Entrepreneur, on the other hand, is an individual who dreams big and is eager to convert those dreams into reality.

Combining the two strong words will give us a product that’ll be no less than a secret success mantra. An entrepreneur marketing plan is a set of pointers that’ll push the dreams of a start-up owner into the jar filled with accomplishable marketing tips. The output will be a product whose name and benefits are known along with its demand and loyalty multiplying rapidly.

Every day many budding entrepreneurs gather the courage and take the first step towards their long knitted dream. But as the time goes by, only a handful or even less make it to the finish line. Why? What’s the reason that among so many great and unique business ideas only one or two became a household or industry-specific name? Is there something they did right that others missed?

To find answers to these questions, we studied some of the new thriving startups. All hailing from different fields, in order to get an overall picture of noteworthy success points. We found that a healthy marketing plan covers the smallest aspect and the once drafted the makers followed it like their work bible.

Here are a few shared marketing plan pointers we found across all prosperous entrepreneurs file.

Let’s get started –

1. Idea

The very first thing that requires utmost and constant attention is the IDEA backing up your business. An idea is no less than a startup’s backbone; it needs to stand strong and tall. We dare you to compromise here!

Now, when talking about ‘the idea’ one has to remember two things – first, it should be unique and not an updated or cheap version of an existing plan.

Second, once confirmed that your idea is one of a kind, make sure to stick to it and not get influenced or deviate from the set path. In the long run, compromising on both these aspects may prove harmful to your business. Because, let’s be real and practical, the core needs to be sturdy.

2. Appearance

After working out a superb idea, it’s time now to give it a face and built it into the next big thing. Now, the face-value is what matters the most and should never be compromised. Today’s consumer, irrespective of the industry you are operating in are look conscious. Therefore to leave a mark and stand out amongst the rest an entrepreneur needs to work on the product appearance seriously. So, whether you are building a website, an online application, or a hard-core product, work on its look and feel. Don’t let matters like time or money be the compromising factor.

3. Customer segment

This one is really, really important. Not that the others mentioned in the list are any less, but if you are not targeting the right customer base every preparation and effort will go down in the drain. Shortlisting a customer base is a lot tricky than many think. It’s not just what you and your colleagues feel, the real picture, on the contrary, can be opposite. We recommend, through research, talking to experts and learned individuals in the field, and conducting a survey.

4. Early marketing

Don’t wait for your product to launch and then start with its marketing. Instead, initiate the product awareness process as soon as the final word is in the pipeline. Big brands like Frootie, Lakme, and McDonald’s, start endorsing and advertising their product much before it comes on the shelf. Being a start-up and with the apparent budget restriction, you can always start the with marketing mediums that fall within estimate.

5. Social Media

In this time and age of digitalisation skipping social media marketing from your plan is nothing short than foolishness. Excuse us, for being blunt, but that’s true. Be it male, female, youth or adult; all are present one or the other social media platform. Further, if your business analysis shows a strong digital presence of prospective clients on a particular channel, don’t delay and take full advantage of their availability. Create a business profile on social mediums like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other platform that’s popular amongst your clients.

Post creative stuff regularly to spread maximum awareness about your product and keep your memory fresh in the customer’s mind. For startups, we recommend creating amazing social media graphics online via portals solely dedicated to the purpose. It’s simple and saves you from the cost of hiring a graphic designer.

6. Put benefit over feature

Industry and marketing experts explain that one of the most common mistakes new entrepreneurs make is that of marketing their product while keeping features as the base. On the contrary, play on the benefits front, talk about how your product will make a difference in the buyer’s life. Mould every feature in a value that revolves and adds utility to the buyer.

7.  Content marketing

In addition to posting creatives on social media hubs like Facebook and Instagram, working on your brand content marketing can do wonders. Entrepreneurs often underestimate the power of content and fail to notice its long-lasting benefits. Start by optimising your website content, by including keywords around the product and industry. For the job, you can either hire a digital marketing personnel or take help of free online tools like Google Analytics. You can also write blogs about the product and mould them around buyer’s needs and requirements.

8. Visual identity

Be it a startup or a full-fledged business set up, what remains common is the need for a strong brand identity. The need is to create visual characters so unique and appealing that immediately triggers your band name and the associated products. Constructing an identity requires through industry and consumer behavior study. Helping you form a brand’s visual identity are elements like – a logo, business card, banner, pamphlets, advertisement and like.

Usually, a designing agency is hired for the job but if you like to do things in a certain way and also wish to save few bugs go for online designing tools like Canva. Self-designing tools like these give full designing freedom and provide professionally designed templates for free.

9. Customer, the focal point

Customers play a crucial role in successful brand marketing. Especially, when it’s a startup, the clients should be considered no less than god. Yes, we aren’t joking. It all starts with polite gestures and reviewing customer feedback, needs, and complaints seriously. The happier and satisfied you’ll make them feel, the better would be your loyalty base.

10.  An eye on the trend

Whether it’s about giving freebies, going live on social media, a partnership with influencers, or organising testing events. Staying true to the marketing trend is the need of the hour and doing so can help you achieve desired success heights. Not only these efforts keep you in the limelight, but it also enables you to appear as a modern, proactive brand.

11. Flaunt client appreciation

It’s a basic human tendency to get attracted to things that are liked or appreciated by others. So, if you ever received a positive feedback from a client, do share it on social media or other offline modes. Appreciation can be in the form of a testimony, user review, or rating. Your aim should be to make it visible to prospective consumers.

12. Multiple marketing wings

Don’t just stick to one marketing technique, constantly try different ideas for a short while and see if they are working out. It’s good to have a well-spread marketing plan that is a combination of different online and offline mediums. This practice will portray you as a genuine brand that’s appearing on distinct channels. For example, if a prospective buyer sees your post on Instagram, hear an advertisement on the radio, and read a blog with your brand inclusion, it’ll all make a positive, sturdy, and reliable impression of your brand. So, don’t shy away and try different marketing techniques.

Also, remember when trying out a new marketing mediums study their effect for a minimum period. Because results take time to deliver and the actual output is visible after a set interval of time. It is also useful from investing point, as you’ll never block your money on a non-profitable marketing plan for long.

Being a first-time entrepreneur is not easy, as you are not only financially but emotionally attached to the business. Thus, in such scenario rational decision making takes a toll. Remember, all situations are two-faced, opt for the one that’ll have long-term benefiting effects, irrespective of the time and hard-work they require you to pour-in. Take marketing decision at utmost priority as if your product fails to make it to the consumer the whole point of putting in all the efforts will go in vain.

While these ten tips form a significant chunk of a startup’s marketing plan, we always recommend studying the competitors. It’ll help you know what’s working in the field and what’s a complete fail.

Start working on your marketing plan now and don’t forget to leave the essence of all the tips as mentioned above in your brand’s personalised marketing plan.

Prince Kapoor
Prince Kapoor is Independent Marketing Analyst and Blogger. While not working, you can find him in gym or giving random health advises to his colleagues which no one agrees on :D. If you too want some of his advises (on health or on marketing), reach him out at @imprincekapur

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