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A Marketing Plan is a Plan for Success

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Intro
Sales and marketing expert Justin Tamsett, shares his secrets to creating the perfect marketing plan.

If you’re in the business of nutrition, the reality is you are a retailer. And it doesn’t matter how technically sound a practitioner you are, or how state-of-the-art your clinic is, you need clients to run your business, and they only come from leads – which, ultimately, are generated from your marketing efforts.

What Is Marketing?

You’ve heard this phrase: ‘marketing is everything you do.’ Any business that’s had an ambassador tweet or behave inappropriately, or who’s been seen using a competitor’s product can vouch for the fact that everything is marketing.

‘Advertising’ is often confused for ‘marketing’ but it’s actually only one aspect of the marketing mix that your business requires for success.

Let’s do a quick evaluation of your current marketing mix:

·       Does your uniform convey your brand to potential clients or members?

·       Do your social media updates provide value for your business’ fans and followers?

·       Are you meeting or exceeding the expectations of your clients?

·       Are your clients ‘raving fans’ who tell their friends about you?

 

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to conduct an annual check up on your marketing plan and overall strategy.

If you have enough clients, then your marketing plan will most likely focus on retention strategies. If your goal is to grow the business, then sales will become the focus of your activities. Throughout the year, these goals may swap or change; and this is why an annual check up is essential.

What’s In A Marketing Plan?

Your marketing plan must take into account the sales and retention levels you want your business to achieve in the coming 12 months, as this will help you determine how to effectively spend your energy and resources.

Regardless of the business’ main focus, you will still need both a sales and a retention strategy in your marketing plan. The plan, itself, should include answers to the following important questions:

  • How will you gain clients?
  • How will you keep clients?
  • What will you do and when?
  • What resources are required?

Your marketing plan will also detail what activities will occur both online and offline.

Online Marketing

Typical online avenues include social media (e.g., Facebook, twitter), apps and a website. Online marketing allows you flexibility, versatility and the capacity for instant response/engagement with your followers and fans. Your online marketing should focus on three areas:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Web marketing.

Email marketing

When email marketing to clients and prospects, only send messages to the people you have permission to contact, as there are strict rules and large fines for ‘spamming’.

Use a third party to distribute your emails – the bonus of this is that they’ll usually provide comprehensive reports about your blasts. ‘Mail Chimp’ or ‘Constant Contact’ are example companies that are no or low cost, which also provide you with user-friendly templates.

Social media marketing

This is a great tool for connecting and building relationships with your current clients, provided every post provides value for the recipient. Don’t tell your followers the weather or what you are doing on the weekend, instead – educate them! Every post is an opportunity to make your followers even bigger fans. To do this, provide them with quality information that they can use to improve their (and their friends’) own health/lives.

Web marketing

It’s not uncommon for people to approach you with complex (and often expensive) solutions to maximise the SEO of your site, or to convert more visitors to members. The best websites however, are the simplest and those that are found when people are searching for a health solution.

There are lots of things you can do to help people find your site and start the conversion process. One simple method is to include free downloads (e.g., articles, recipes, eBooks). When designing and loading content into your website, be very clear on whether you want to achieve sales or retention, because your website should be specifically designed around this goal.

Your Offline Marketing

Traditionally, offline marketing tends to be less flexible than your online options.

To stand out from competitors, whenever you are printing something in hardcopy (e.g., client letters, flyers), consider the weight of the paper (‘stock’) used. To be taken seriously by current and future members/clients ensure your printed resources use a stock that is around 250gsm. It will cost a few cents more, but it’s worth it to ensure you’ll stand out from the rest of the papers in the letterbox. For optimum impact you can also consider using a gloss or a ‘cell-glaze’ finish too.

Having your marketing piece cut into a unique shape is also a bonafide way to attract attention. Printers will cut any shape you like and although you do have to pay for it, the results speak for themselves because they do cut through your competitors’ boring rectangular A5 or DL-shaped marketing pieces!

Naturally, you have to consider your budget. It’s imperative that you know exactly how much you’re prepared to spend on acquiring a new member or keeping an existing one (i.e., what total percentage of income will you spend on marketing?). 

Successful offline marketing lies in delivering your pieces to the people, rather than wait for them to come to you. Examples include educational seminars, corporate workshhops, neighborhood nutrition groups, joining your Chamber of Commerce, or establishing community walking groups. Try and think creatively about where and how you can position your business in front of potential customers.

It’s critical that is your offline strategies match your online strategies. This means there must be synergy and consistency between what the consumer sees whenever your brand appears. A simple example is to always update your website to mirror what is being seen offline.

Your Marketing Plan

The best marketing plan is the one you follow. And the bottom line is, some plan is better than no plan. So sit down, lock yourself away and start by planning for – at least – the next quarter of the year. Running your business will be so much easier when you have in place, a plan for success.

A Marketing Plan is a Plan for Success