A major part of any good business plan will be the marketing plan.

For some, the marketing plan – is the business plan.

Any way you look at it, your marketing plan deserves serious consideration.

The usual approach is to start with the product or service, and then think through the steps that you or your team will engage in, to take the product or service to market.

Some call this ‘hope marketing’. You plan it and hope for good results. Frequently, the results are disappointing.

An Alternative

As an alternative, let me tell you about an approach that turns the above thinking on its head. An approach in which the product or service comes last. (Or forth to be exact.)

This approach was presented by Internet marketing guru Ed Dale, in a project called The 30 Day Challenge (2007) – http://www.thirtydaychallenge.com Ed called it “A Magnificent Symphony of Four Parts.”

Here is a brief overview of these four parts:

Part 1 is about “Market Research”. Here, you identify a market or niche Market and get to understand what their problems and needs are. Also, you get some idea of what the competition is like. There are now a host of tools available on the Internet for this type of market research. Many are free.

Part 2 Ed Dale calls “Traffic”. This more or less asks you, how you will go about communicating to your market. This may be online, offline or a combination of both. If you can’t do this cost-effectively, you may need to seriously rethink your approach.

Part 3 is called “Conversion.” This is about selling. Given that you can cost-effectively solve the problems of Part 2, you can then work out how you will ‘sell’ people on what you have to offer. This may be simple, or it may be very hard.

The point Ed Dale makes here, is that you may like to ‘test the water’, by trying to sell a competitors product. If it’s very difficult to make sales, you again may need re-evaluate your original thinking.

Part 4. Now we get to the part you understand, or thought you did . . . your product or service. The point here is that if you have carefully been through steps one, two and three, you will be a lot smarter: 

  • One: You will understand your marketplace better. You’ll understand their problems and their wants and needs. If you have done your research well, you will know how motivated they are in seeking solutions. Also, knowledge of your competitors strengths and weaknesses could change your thinking.  

  • Two: You will understand what’s required to be able to talk to your market and build relationships.

  • Three: You will understand what’s involved to get customers convinced so that they will give you money to buy what you are selling.

The big payoff

If you are in charge of product development, maybe you can now design a ‘killer’ product.

If making changes is not an option, you can make decisions on how to best ‘position’ your offering – based on your enriched market knowledge.

If this marketing strategy has caught your attention, you can get more information at http://www.thirtydaychallenge.com/members/day1/

Andrew Smith