THE MARKETING PLAN

“They say if you build a better mouse trap, people are going to come running. They are like hell.  It’s the marketing that makes the difference”.
—Ed Johnson

Create A Winning Marketing Plan

It has always been my belief that people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan, as the old saying goes.  That is certainly why it would be foolhardy to embark on any meaningful advertising campaign without first putting together the most important element:  A comprehensive Marketing Plan.

But before you even put this together, I recommend that you first have your product or service properly evaluated by direct marketing professionals to see if this form of advertising is the best form of marketing for you. Once it is determined that a direct marketing campaign is appropriate for your product, it will be successful only to the degree that is carefully and properly planned and executed. 

A Marketing Plan becomes an invaluable and essential tool for the necessary research and planning phases, and it will help you identify the “Marketing Formula:  What + Who = How To” as outlined in Chapter Two.

It will allow you to automatically identify and unravel all of the marketing elements and strategies that are set forth in this book.   It will be the blueprint for constructing everything in your campaign, from the product offer to the media buys, from the various revenues streams that will help you to maximize your return on investment and reduce your financial risk.  If you need to raise money for your campaign, the marketing plan is the heart of a good, integrated business strategy.  It will also map out a cash flow analysis and financial projections.  Many times a marketing plan that is converted into a business plan can identify the specific return on investment that would be proposed to an individual or a group of investors.  Venture capitalists would not consider an investment of any type without the development of a good marketing plan. 

The Integrated Marketing Wheel

When analyzing the marketing potential of a product or service one needs to look at the “big picture”, an integrated view of the whole process.  And no matter how “big” the picture, it can always be reduced to a simple graphic that I call your “Marketing Wheel of Fortune”.  Imagine your product or service and its many advertising strategies represented by a large wheel with spokes - think of a wagon wheel.  Imagine your product as the hub of the wheel.  Now in order for the wheel to roll properly and predictably, you need to have as many spokes as possible for support.  I suggest that every product have as many as eight spokes, that is, eight revenue sources and the eight corresponding marketing strategies.  Each spoke would be identified in the Marketing Plan and research phases. 

For example, the Infomercial is just one spoke—one revenue source and one marketing strategy. DRTV spots represent yet another revenue source and separate marketing strategy.  The Internet can represent another marketing strategy and revenue stream. Home Shopping Channels can represent yet another. Direct Mail and Print advertising represent additional potential marketing opportunities.  Public relations activity, i.e. talk shows, foreign sales and, of course, traditional retail sales and merchandising can represent additional sources of revenue and other marketing strategies. 

Characteristics of a Winning Marketing Plan:

1)  A winning Marketing Plan identifies all possible sources of revenue and the marketing strategies associated with them, so that one can minimize financial risk and maximize the potential advertising return on investment.

2)  It becomes the research “blackboard” where all your thoughts, strategies and research data are written down.  In turn, this will stimulate the right marketing approach for you to embark on.   It identifies how much capital is required to launch your campaign.  Most importantly, it is your “future” diary of the essential ingredients for your recipe for success.  

3)  A good Marketing Plan dictates that you clearly identify your primary target audience, the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of your product, its features and benefits, the cost of the product, the cost of selling the product, the product offer, and other sources of revenues from upsells, back-end, foreign sales, retail opportunities, and so forth. 

4)  It also identifies the “how-to” part of your marketing strategies, i.e. - how are you going to sell the product and what resources are required.   It establishes clear language about the selling messages that need to be employed, and contains the checklist of essential marketing elements. 

5)  A great Marketing Plan also projects realistic sales goals based on actual case studies of similar products or case histories.  And it includes a conservative two-year cash flow analysis and financial projections of the entire campaign.  Without a budget, it is difficult at best, to determine where and how far you can go with a campaign.  The properly researched Plan provides time frames or special events that must be scheduled and acted upon in a sequential manner. 

6)  An essential component of the Marketing Plan is the Marketing Action Plan (MAP) which is designed as the road map to follow for the implementation of specific action steps.  It will enable the marketing team to see the overall marketing plan unfold and provides a specific time frame, which the marketing steps need to be executed.

With the input of our clients, FMS Direct has created many major Marketing Plans over the years – several of these plans have been instrumental in helping to raise millions of dollars in private investment capital.  It has been my experience that most under-capitalized projects fail regardless of how good the product is.  It is only upon the completion of a comprehensive Marketing Plan that one can ascertain what resources are required to execute the plan. 

“The Marketing Action Plan It is as vital to a successful advertising campaign as are the people who will execute it.”

“Call Now 1-800 -  How to Profit from Direct Response Television Advertising”  Copyright 2006  Rodney H. Buchser

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