When you have a small business, whether you are an entrepreneur or an independent contractor, you need a B2B marketing plan that will help you run your business on a daily basis. This plan doesn’t have to be a very elaborate one and is also not a strict one. However, it should contain specific key information that includes the target market, as well as guidelines to gain new clients or increase sales. Here are ten things that should not be overlooked from a B2B marketing plan:
1. DEFINING THE PRODUCT OR THE SERVICE
Describe your product or service in simple, easy to read terms. Consider this message to be the written version of the oral 30-60 second presentation you can make for your company and which represents the company’s mission statement. Include here what differentiates you and communicate the inherent benefits your client will receive.
2. THE TARGET AUDIENCE
In close connection with defining your company’s services or products, make sure you describe very clearly your target audience. Give precise details about the demographic and psychological characteristics of the ideal customer. Focus your company’s resources and its marketing tactics on these groups.
3. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Set clearly the objectives you want to attain. Establish both your company’s objectives on the short term, as well as on the long term. Make sure these are relevant, characteristic and quantifying. Clear objectives, like revenue and new clients will help you focus always on the important details.
4. IDENTIFY THE COMPTETTION
Is your competition a chain of local small enterprising people or a group of big national companies with important resources? Whatever the case, learn to know your competition. It will help you better position and target your message.
5. THE PRICE POLICY
A set of rules to establish the price involves estimating the monetary value that your clients will receive and understanding your financial goals and objectives. Remember to establish a price for your product/service at a higher rate than your fix and variable costs (don’t forget: you are in this business to make a profit!)
6. ESTABLISH A B2B MARKETING BUDGET
B2B marketing expenses can gather up quickly so make sure you put aside a certain amount per month or per quarter. Evaluate your B2B marketing decisions based on the turnover generated from each initiative. Analyze each initiative and keep those that best function for you.
7. STUDY THE DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS
The planning phase is over: it is time to identify B2B marketing tactics. Make a brainstorming to gather as many ideas as possible; they will help you influence the target audiece with yourvaluable messages. Be creative and don’t censor bold/crazy ideas. Choose at least five activities that you can do within your budget limits.
8. ESTABLISH SPECIFIC STEPS OF ACTION
Each tactical idea comes with its own set of measures or action guide. For instance, if you want to send a brochure by post you have to write its content (or outsource this activity), create the design of the material, print he brochure, create a list of addressees etc. Make time to lay down all the details that will help you achieve your goal.
9. TAKE YOUR TIME FOR EVERY STEP OF THE ACTION
It is not enough to make a guideline list – you also need to establish a calendar for each of the taken steps. Be realistic, so that you don’t fix unachievable terms that could risk you get frustrated. At the same time, make sure you don’t set too long-distant terms, so that you no longer feel an urgent need to fulfil them on time.
10. BE RESPONSIBLE
The best B2B marketing plan fail when they end up in a drawer with no one ever seeing them again. That’s why it is absolutely CRITICAL that you have an objective coach that will hold you responsible for the plan execution. Think of hiring that person in the writing of your plan. The more that person believes in you and your ideas, he more he/she will help you in the future. Creating and respecting a B2B marketing plan is the best way to keep you and your business focused on the right track. Writing the plan is the easy part, respecting it tends to be the hardest part for most of the people. It is highly recommended to ask for an associate’s help that is trustworthy, in order to get an open and fair judgement as you work on the elements of your plan. Most importantly, if you truly want to be successful, tell that trustworthy person not to spare you and hold you responsible for your actions. You will be glad he/she did that!