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  • How to Create Your First Marketing Plan
    Game Plan

    Define Your Marketing Tactics

    The final section of your marketing plan describes the marketing tools you'll use to achieve the objectives stated in your plan, and your Marketing Strategy in particular. Include a list of promotional channels you identified in the previous section, as well as a timeline for when you plan to roll out each of those tactics.

    The best way to ensure you’ll reach your target market when they’re ready to buy is by employing a multichannel approach that’s designed to reach customers in a variety of places. Be sure to draw up specific timelines and costs for each tactic. The tactics in your approach may include:

    • Advertising. Print, online, radio, and cable TV
    • Grass-roots efforts. These include speaking at the chamber of commerce or industry association meetings and events
    • Trade shows. Exhibiting or just attending
    • Website optimization. Update your website’s content, look and feel; look into search marketing, including organic search, paid search and search engine optimization (SEO), all of which can increase traffic to your website
    • Email and social marketing. A low-cost way to reach customers and prospects, as well as to build buzz about your business

    Your tactical mix is not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. Be sure to measure your results each month and make adjustments based on the results of each tactic.

    Game PlanGame Plan

    Game Plan

    For more information on potential tactics, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website, particularly the pages covering “Marketing 201,” “Advertising Basics,” and “Email Marketing.”

    To maximize your online presence in particular, you may find the following helpful:

    • Google’s free AdWords Tool can help you identify Web search terms with the most volume and relevance for your business.
    • Google Analytics is valuable for measuring monthly visitors to your website, and segmenting those visitors based on browser type, mobile device, click behavior, geography or other variables.
    • Moz or Raven Tools let you monitor your site’s SEO performance, as well as your competitors’.

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