10 Essential questions to help you write your Marketing Plan

As with all things, it helps to start at the beginning, so lets begin…

What is Marketing?

Well, thats obvious.....isn't it?

"Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably." The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

"Marketing is the action of promoting or selling products or services". Oxford Dictionaries

"Marketing is the management process through which goods and services move from concept to customer". The Business Dictionary

"Marketing is about communicating the value of a product, service or brand to customers or consumers for the purpose of promoting or selling that product, service or brand." Wikipedia

Marketing is everything!

It is the red thread that runs throughout your business. It is a strong plan that gets you from one place to the next, and the next. It is cohesive brand and business story, its an approach, and a way of doing things that makes you stand out from the rest and celebrates your differences. It is rigorous, it is measurable, and it keeps you on track to reach your goals. It is everything you pour into your business to make it a success.

Do it well and you have the power to create a lasting legacy that your customers, clients and consumers will thank you for.

Do it badly, and at best no one will notice you.

But as marketing is everything, the difficult thing is knowing where to begin and what to do first. There is so much to go after, so many opportunities, so many things to be done.

Wherever do you start?

Photo by Mark Goddard/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Mark Goddard/iStock / Getty Images

The best place to start is at the beginning. So here are 10 essential questions to ask yourself as you start to write your business and marketing plan. Lets begin...

1. Where are you now? 
2. Where do you want to get to?

Write all this down - this is your business goal. The next question is…

3. How are you going to get there? 

What are the actual things you are going to do? What are the steps that will help you reach your business goal? Make them tangible. List them out. This is the beginning of your marketing plan. Next you need to have a think about….

4. What makes your business different from the rest?
5. What makes you the best at what you do? 

Set out your unique selling proposition (your USP). Be really clear about what makes your business special/ unique/ different. Can you articulate it in one sentence? Are you comfortable about shouting this from the rooftops? Are you being honest, authentic and credible?

Photo by IvelinRadkov/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by IvelinRadkov/iStock / Getty Images

Got it down, good, right next have a think about….

6. Who are you going to tell this to? (your target audience)
7. Why are they going to be interested in what you have to say? (your audience insight)
8. How are you going to talk to them about it to make them want it? (your ad campaign)
9. Where are you going to talk to them? (your communication channels)
10. How are you going to know if its worked? (your measures of success)

And that’s basically all marketing is!

Talking to the people most likely to be interested in what you are doing, telling them about it in a compelling way that’s relevant to them, to make them want to buy what it is you are selling.

And you my friend have just written your first marketing plan. Well done.

Marketing is everything, the key is just starting at the beginning.

The End.

Written by Lesley Stonier, Founder & Director of We Mean Business, London | Marketing Consultancy . We support entrepreneurial individuals and women in business with their marketing needs. If you need help with marketing or you know someone who does, come and say hello. Or for help and advice on writing your marketing plan, contact us for your free consultation and see how We Mean Business, London can help you.