How to market your business

Without marketing, you're unlikely to make any sales. Without sales, there is no business. This guide outlines the steps you need to take to market your business and products. It's only a general overview, so take a look at the other guides in this section for more detail on how to complete each part of the process.

Create a market strategy

  • Drawing up a marketing strategy enables you to thoroughly analyse and plan how you will market your business and puts in place all the groundwork and information you need to get going.
  • You can find a more detailed explanation of how to go about it in our guide on developing a marketing strategy.
  • This is a brief outline of what it will cover:
    • Research: market analysis, competitor analysis, business analysis
    • Customers: identify your target customers, split them into groups according to their needs and see how you compare to the competition they'd be interested in.
    • Product analysis: its USPs and its benefits to the customer.
    • Communication: how you plan to communicate the benefits of your product to your various customer groups.
    • Objectives: what you hope to achieve, both long- and short-term. These need to be quantifiable, measurable, realistic and with deadlines.

Write your marketing plan

  • You can now expand your strategy into a marketing plan, which explains step-by-step how you'll achieve the objectives outlined in your strategy.
  • The plan includes further details such as: timelines, budgets, year-on-year and month-on-month projections, and any additional copy such as marketing mission statements, who will oversee various parts of projects.
  • It details the logistics of specific campaigns.
  • As such, it is a more live document than your strategy - you can fiddle with the numbers and change it as necessary to accomplish the overall goals laid out in your strategy (which is a more permanent document).
  • Click the link to see loads of reliable sample marketing plans.

Implement, monitor and adapt

  • Through your marketing plan, you will have established what resources you need in place - once you have them in place, you carry out your plans.
  • Your marketing plan outlines who is in control of various parts of your marketing projects.
    • Ensure they know what they're doing.
    • Chat to them regularly about progress and any hitches.
  • You need to monitor everything you do. This allows you to:
    • Compare results against objectives, so you can see how well your plans are working and change them if necessary.
    • Focus your future plans on the types of marketing that prove to be most successful (and drop the least profitable ones).
  • You are likely to hit bumps along the way, which is why your marketing plan is flexible and live.
  • Adjust budgets and plans as and when needed, remembering to adjust all other sections of your marketing plan that will be affected, and your overall business budgets - you may need to spend £200 extra on one part of your marketing plan, but that £200 will have to come from another project's budget. Never overlook the knock-on effects of minor changes.

Resources

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