7 Marketing Plan Basics for Local Business Owners

Marketing basics

Back On the Right Trail

For the first day of his class on Marketing Plan Basics for Local Business, Prof Wiggins summarizes his notion of a good marketing plan…looking at it from the 10,000 foot level…as his friend Christopher likes put it.. The class is open to people of all ages and stages.  Most of his young students,  though lovable, are considerably wet behind their ears. However, his class often includes a smattering of seasoned business owners from around the community who want to, like Stephen Covey puts it in habit #7,  “sharpen the saw.”

The sound of the bell and the slam of the door sounded as one chord. Professor J R Wiggins burst into the classroom shouting the headline for the day’s discussion. …“7 Marketing Plan Basics that NEVER Change!!!” What’s he doing? He’s marketing to his audience. He’s doing something every marketer must do…grabbing attention, setting the hook for dynamic engagement. He charged on. “Good morning CLASS! Why am I here? Because I want YOU to build a crazy successful business. You need the stuff this course is made of. So gather around mentally and let’s get this thing started. To begin our amazing study of Digital Marketing for Local Business Owners , we are going to discuss SEVEN marketing plan basics. Basics, foundational to all marketing. These SEVEN truths about marketing  have always been true and always will be true. When you need to get back to the basics, these thoughts should come to mind.

 Without any warning, the professor poked his meter stick in the gut of the suddenly-wide-awake red headed kid on the end of the first row. 

Grinning he said, “Pay attention to this Billy Glasson.”

“When you build your marketing plan on these SEVEN truths it’s like building your marketing house on the Rock of Gibraltar. It will stand the test in every marketplace storm.  With that he had everyone’s attention. He launched into his lecture for the day: an overview of the course.

Marketing Truth #1

“Marketing truth number one, You own TWO companies.  A services and products business. AND a marketing business. I learned it from a marketing guru named Adam Urbanski when I attended his four day seminar on Internet marketing . It’s what he said, to begin that seminar. The thought so impressed me that I will probably never forget it. I knew I had heard an AHB AWB (Always Has Been Always Will Be) truth about marketing. Come on class, say it with me…”doing a little dance he got the class goovin and smiling as he led them in a rhythmic rap … ‘ A-H-B A-W-B ‘ …  A-H-B A-W-B … A-H… a little out of breath he paused for a second. The delighted students gave a happy round of applause.

 “We’ll dig into this Marketing Truth #1 next session. What Adam Urbanski said transmuted my thinking about my business. I believe it will strike you as significant as well.”

Marketing Truth #2

The AHB AWB marketing truth we will talk about next is what I call “The Three Pillars of Marketing” or “The Three Legs of the Marketing Stool.” Visibility, Engagement, Conversion. You’ve got to have all three legs if you want your marketing stool to stand.

 Marketing Truth #3

Marketing plan basics

Trotline

Next we will discuss the “WHO” of your marketing. It always has been and always will be true…You must choose WHO, if you want the highest possible level of success . It’s not a matter of who might use your product or service. You probably think that’s everyone. No, the question is who will you choose to go after. We marketers say it this way. What audience do you want to target with your message? It’s like fishing. You decide first what fish you want to catch. Then you take the right tackle and go where your fish swims.  If, for example, you want catfish, any East Texas waterway and a trotline will do. If you want Sailfish that swim at speeds approaching 80 mph, it’s best you head for Costa Rica with a stow of heavy duty tackle. You must choose.

 Marketing Truth #4

AHB AWB marketing truth Number FOUR: your Target Audience, like fish you want to catch, swim in five distinct schools. Yes, Five distinctly different kinds of persons. Your marketing plan must include all five segments of your ideal target market lest you leave money running off the table like a tipped over glass of water. I’ll give you two examples:1) People who don’t even know you exist, but will need what you sell someday. In stark contrast: 2)people who don’t know you exist, but who are searching Google, this very minute, for what you sell. That’s two of them. We will talk about three others. Each kind requires a different approach.

Marketing Truth #5

Marketing basics

Stories and Pictures Communicate

AHB AWB marketing truth Number FIVE: When it comes to showing how you are different from other people who do what  you do, stories and pictures pack more punch than any other communication tool available. Someone has said, facts tell. Stories sell. That was true for cave dwellers of prehistoric times and it is true today. I think of it as relational marketing. On one hand, you help your potential customer picture their relationship with your product, on the other hand you help a potential client feel a relational connection with you before you ever meet.

Storytelling and Your Brand

To put this in marketing terms, your story shapes your brand. Sure there are colors, logos and taglines. In our industry, we call these things “branding”.  As a marketer, your branding is one of the first things you want to put in place. Still there’s a great difference between your “branding” and your “brand”. Your brand equals the sum of what your public thinks and feels at the sound of your name.  At the core of your brand lies the truth about WHO you are and how what you do is different. Tell that story. The specifics of that story tells your potential customer about the things that truly matter to them. That story sets you apart at the deepest level and helps your new customer forge the deepest connection with you.

 Marketing Truth #6

“The FIFTH AHB AWB truth about marketing: Marketing methods, means and media are NOT AHB AWB things.  The HOW of marketing constantly evolves. When societal paradigms shift, you MUST change what you do…Well folks the world of marketing has changed and is changing. We’ve gone from the information age into what Daniel Pink in his book A Whole New Mind calls the conceptual age

What does this mean for you and I as business owners? Still, you have got to get visible, and still you must engage people. And as has always been the case, you still must ask them to buy. (conversion) BUT, now you must do it online. You  must make it high touch and high concept, beautiful, relational and engaging. You must get with it or GET LEFT BEHIND! That’s why I do this class on Internet marketing.

 There you have it.

Six Truths about marketing that always have been and always will be. We will look at each of these as we have time. We will dig out deeper understandings in order to gain the practical insight you need, because these thoughts are foundational. They foster a mindset that sets you up for marketing success in the fast changing world in which we live.

 Marketing Truth #7

Oh Yes…The SEVENTH MARKETING PLAN TRUTH…for sure an AHB AWB truth about marketing: Just do it. Crush the inertia that holds you back.Get going. Tolerate no excuses. Someone has said that anything you are able to tolerate cannot change. Grab yourself by the collar and just Do IT!!!  Can’t do it perfectly yet? Forget that. Done is preferable to perfect. Do it the best you can now and make it better when you can later. Just DO IT!!!

 By this time, Bill Glasson, sitting on the front row, had gained enough courage to raise his hand. Wiggins stopped and looked at Billy for what seemed like forever, dead pan glare, then with a smile as bright as sunshine, he said “BILLY!” Everyone laughed. “What’s goin on?” “Well, is there an equally compact way to think about how to this. You said that we need to just do it. Where do I start. I want a great marketing plan for my business. Where do I start putting my marketing plan together?”

 “AWESOME Mr. Bill Glasson! Great question. It just so happens that you have given me the perfect segue into my closing thought.”

 We have talked about SEVEN BASICS, AHB AWB marketing plan truths. That brings up the question, “HOW do I, as a local business owner market in today’s digital environment? Well, the purpose of this course is about how we answer that question.

For the bulk of this course, we will discover and discuss how You need 4 PIECES: 1)Your website. 2)Social Media. 3)Local Listings. and 4) Email Marketing. This course is aimed at helping you understand these four pieces of your digital marketing system and how they fit together into a powerful effective, results-producing marketing whole.

 That’s why I call this course, “Digital Marketing Made Simple”

Once we understand these four big pieces, we are ready to choose from the endless list of tools, techniques, apps, plugins, services, etc. that support and integrate these four pieces. There are all kinds of things we can and must do to make ourselves VISIBLE, ENGAGING  AND CONVERTING. We are ready to GROW our business and achieve wonderful vistas of success.

LET’S DO THIS THING! YOU WILL BE GREAT, my friends, and you will do GREAT THINGS, ABSOLUTELY GREAT! With that, the bell rang. The class ended.  Most of the students flooded through the door headed for the next event in their busy day. A few stayed a minute or two to comment and ask more questions of their invigorating professor about his marketing plan basics.

Don’t have time!  Don’t know where to start!  We can help you.  GIVE J3 A CALL Let’s talk about your success. (520) 404 – 1087