Article how to create marketing plan

HMS Naveen

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Steps for Creating the Marketing Plan

One of the fundamental procedures involved in any successful business operation is creating and implementing a marketing plan. A market is a particular group of buyers—or in the case of libraries, users or clients—who needs services. A marketing plan consists of several components, each of which is described below.
Before writing a marketing plan, it is necessary to define your target market and to understand its needs. This involves conducting market research, which Eric Lease Morgan describes as using transaction log analysis, circulation records, user surveys, focus group interviews, and informational interviews to provide insight on what your customers really expect.

To write a marketing plan, follow the numbered outline below.
1. Prepare a mission statement.
The mission statement clearly and succinctly describes the nature of the business, services offered, and markets served—usually in a few sentences. Sometimes for larger companies, it’s combined with a vision statement that can be two to three paragraphs in length. Some examples of mission statements can be found at …….
2. List and describe target or niche markets.
In this section, list and describe potential groups of users or clients. After you create the list, identify various segments of a market. Segments can include specific types of people in a company by role—for example, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or marketing director. Department heads are another type of market segment. For segmenting the consumer market, consider age groups. In addition, niche markets are an integral part of marketing. Within a target market of attorneys, for instance, there may be niche groups such as a trial or malpractice attorneys. In some instances, targeting by firm size is an important consideration.
3. Describe your services.
As mentioned above, it’s necessary to conduct market research to understand your market and to identify the services they require. At the same time, inventory the services you currently offer and identify new services you wish to provide. Determine what it will take to provide these services in terms of staff, expertise, and costs.
4. Spell out marketing and promotional strategies.
Various strategies work better for different target markets and, therefore, several may be required to triumph. The key for successful marketing is understanding what makes someone want to use or buy services and what type of marketing strategy they respond to. This requires you to learn needs, problems, industry trends, and buzzwords. To get up to speed for a particular business market, read trade journals and attend professional conferences to meet prospective users or buyers in person. Become active in various groups whenever possible and form strategic alliances. Find out what works best for the markets you serve.
This is a trial-and-error process that requires testing and interaction with clients or prospective clients, although reading case studies and interviewing and consulting with libraries that have already had marketing achievements is one way to save time. To this end, I have included some references at the end of this article that contain success stories of other libraries.
Basic marketing strategies include the following:
• Network, either in person or electronically, by participating in discussion groups online where your target markets congregate.
• Direct marketing involves sending out sales letters, capability brochures, flyers, or special offers on a regular, repeated basis to the same group of prospects. Direct marketing can only work if you speak the language of your target market and contact them regularly.
• Advertise in print media or directories, often with a specific offer to reap the benefit of an immediate response or sales. Advertising lends credibility (image advertising) and, like direct marketing, must be continuous.
• Devise training programs that increase awareness about your services.
• Write articles for local media or professional journals and newsletters that describe the benefits of your services.
• Direct or personal selling is the one-on-one selling, often on site at a prospect’s office or company. Direct sales are a particularly costly form of marketing since you only reach one person at a time. However, if you present your services to a group of people at a company, such as people from a particular department or several department heads, direct sales can be beneficial.
• Send out publicity and press releases through local newspapers, radio, and television stations.
• Participate in trade shows at the local or regional level.