Marketing Plan Example - Ladies First Shoe Store
To give you a marketing plan example, let's say that the Ladies First Shoe Store is a seven-year old offline store that we are bringing online. Though through the years our sample store has had hundreds of repeat customers, it never developed a customer database. Ladies First concentrated its marketing strategy to newspaper advertising, occasional television commercials, and a listing in the phonebook. The offline store is situated in a local mall.
Any effective marketing plan should include a way of tracking results. Tracking is typically lacking on most marketing strategies used by offline businesses. Though far from a foreign concept, it is not usually implemented by small businesses. Ladies First Shoe Store is no exception; it cannot track how much of its traffic comes from overall mall traffic and how much of it comes as a result of its own advertising efforts.
If we are bringing the shoe store online, our marketing plan should include tracking for its offline advertising as well, to be able to measure the effectiveness of each marketing dimension. Each ad, each coupon, and each broadcast should include a code that can be linked to each customer's purchase or visit. Even telephone calls can be tracked by asking the customer how they heard about the store.
Though it may be safe to assume that the marketing mix for Ladies First has worked for seven years, we may be surprised to find that only the television ads were effective, and that the newspaper coupons were seldom used. Further tracking may show that the television ads that included the endorsement of a local movie star were the most effective and that the back-to-school ads didn't do so well.
Now we can develop and online strategy that builds on the offline experience.
The next part of the marketing plan may be to capitalize on repeat customers. If the shoe store has any kind of records of previous customers, such as receipts from purchases, we could develop a database using those records. That list of customers can be used to send postcards offering store discounts and/or requesting that customers sign up online for coupons and special sales. Postcard mailings should also be tracked. Our intention should be to develop an electronic database to which we can eventually market via email. Email marketing is perhaps the least expensive and most effective types of marketing. Repeat customers could quickly become your greatest asset.
One way that Ladies First can develop its list of customers is by training the sales staff to collect names and email addresses of every customer who purchases, which is the best list to have, i.e. a list of buyers. If, and this is a big if, you can train your sales staff to collect the email addresses, you will practically be assured of an increase in your overall profits. I know businesses that go as far as to fire anyone in their sales staff who continuously 'forgets' to ask customers for their contact information.
Next, we need to start adding more online strategies to the marketing plan. Keeping in mind the importance of developing a customer database, some businesses do offline advertising to route their customers to a website where they can capture their contact information. Soft drink companies put codes on the tops of soft drink bottles; customers are instructed to go to a website, enter the code, and see if they won a prize. Lady's first could do something similar by having their website information imprinted on the receipts, asking customers to login to see if they win a free pair of shoes or to get coupons. A website without a lead-capture mechanism is not maximizing its marketing potential.
The next step of the marketing plan for Ladies First Shoe Store could be implementing promotions that include the endorsement of the local movie star. That could be done through video postings on You Tube or on a blog, or in written form as testimonials on the lead capture page or home page.
Traffic generation strategies could be the final touch for our marketing plan example. There are dozens of traffic strategies available, but one that we could use for Ladies First is advertising in a local business portal and local map searches. Pay-per-click advertising would also be very effective, since it can be targeted geographically.
Remember than in our marketing plan example everything and every occurrence should be tracked to determine its effectiveness. Don't just track email marketing, track each email and you will learn what produces the best results. Then you will know what delights your customers and what will keep them coming back in the future. It is easier to buy where you already know you are appreciated.
Marketing Plan Sample - 5 Simple Steps to Market Any Business
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