Effective Marketing Begins with Knowing the Competition
Another common problem facing many new businesses is too much competition. Too frequently, when developing a marketing plan, new entrepreneurs overlook their competition.
This often results in finding that the market is saturated and there is little room for growth. Developing an effective marketing plan must begin with reviewing the business ventures that offer similar services and products and then comparing those products and services.
In addition, a marketing plan must include the following information:
Demographic group - Identifying the target demographic group for a product or service is often challenging. Entrepreneurs who are offering video game development, for example, are probably targeting a mid-teens to mid-thirties demographics, while someone offering advice on retirement may be targeting an older demographic group. Having a complete demographic study as part of the marketing plan (as well as the overall business plan) can help focus the entrepreneur on their potential client base.
Marketing expectations - Underfunding a marketing plan can backfire on any business owner. In order for a business to succeed, entrepreneurs need to make sure that their marketing plan includes the media most commonly used by their targeted demographics, but it also involves finding out where the competition is doing their marketing. Great marketing plans are those that are flexible enough to be changed as the marketplace grows and develops.
Evaluating the competition - Entrepreneurs must carefully evaluate their competition. Some questions that must be answered include:
- What is your business doing different than your competition?
- How is your competition handling their marketing?
- What can you do different than the competition to be successful?
When addressing these matters in a business plan, it is imperative that all these items be planned for in a realistic manner. Remember, new businesses do not have one valuable tool of an established business, namely an established brand.