In the previous chapter, you read about the four pillars of marketing and how they form the building blocks of a marketing plan. You also learned about the four Ps of marketing: PRODUCT, PRICE, PLACE, and METHOD. Now it’s time to put those learnings into practice and examine the structure of an online marketing plan. Specifically, you’ll use the questions below to test your knowledge of marketing on the internet.
What is the product that you will promote?
You will examine the type of product that you are promoting, its features, and how it fits into your target audience’s lifestyle. Also, you will consider how much you are willing to spend on this particular product.
What is the price of your product?
You will identify the price that you are willing to pay for the product being promoted as well as the competitor prices. Remember: If you have a product that is not expensive to manufacture, you can often undercut the competition and promote your product for less money.
Nowadays, almost everyone is online, so you can research competitor prices and determine the range of prices for each product. Using Google Trends data, you can examine how often people are searching for a product compared to how often they are searching for a comparable product. You can also look at the prices that other companies are charging for their products in order to come up with an idea of what price you should be charging.
Where will you promote your product?
You will consider the type of platforms that your target audience uses and decide which ones you will use to promote the product. Also, you will consider the size of your target audience compared to other similar products and decide how much of a reach you should have.
How will you promote your product?
You will brainstorm ideas for marketing your product and choose one that you feel will be most effective.
Once you have established a marketing plan, you will need to find the right people to help you execute it. For this step, you will develop a buyer persona and create buyer personas for various roles within your target audience. Using this approach will help you discover the right strategies and tactics for marketing to each group.
Putting It Into Practice
You have now learned the basic information needed to write an effective online marketing plan. To practice, you can use the questions below to quiz yourself or an expert on your behalf.
Who is your target audience?
Who are the people you will try to convince to buy your product?
What will you do to attract these people to your product?
How will you make them interested in your product?
How will you retain them once they are interested in your product?
What will you do to keep yourself in good standing with your target audience?
How can you improve your product to make it more attractive to your target audience?
What is your primary objective?
Why do you want to sell this particular product to these people?
How much do you want to sell this particular product for?
What makes your product unique?
How does your product fit into your target audience’s lifestyle?
How will you communicate the value of your product to potential customers?
How will you convince them to buy your product?
What will you do to gain trust with your target audience?
What are the key elements of your marketing plan?
Chapter 4 Marketing Research & Planning
In this chapter, you will examine different methods of marketing research and plan making. Specifically, you will learn about primary and secondary research, benchmarking, and brand tracking. In addition, you will examine the different types of market research studies and learn how to identify the most suitable one for your needs.
What is primary research?
Primary research is the process of gathering factual information and data about your target audience’s minds, attitudes, and behaviors. You can perform primary research in a variety of ways, including:
- Focus groups
- Expert advice
- Site inspections
- Blog articles
- Product trials
- Attendance at events (e.g., trade shows)
The advantage of primary research is that you get to learn about your target audience’s unmet needs, wants, and expectations through direct conversation and observation. Often, the information that you discover through primary research will help you formulate product and marketing strategies.
What is secondary research?
Secondary research is the process of verifying and cross-checking the information that you discover through primary research. The verification step involves making sure that what you found is indeed correct and that the information is not outdated. Cross-checking ensures that the information is not just isolated to a single source (e.g., a survey) but is instead generated from a variety of different sources and is as accurate as possible. The information that you discover through secondary research can be invaluable in helping you formulate a marketing strategy and perform marketing analysis.
Marketing Research Studies
There are three primary types of marketing research studies that you might want to consider:
- Audience measurement
- Market penetration
- Product evaluation
Each type of study will help you achieve a different goal. With audience measurement studies, you want to increase brand awareness and loyalty. Market penetration studies help you identify the most effective marketing channels and methods for gaining new customers. And finally, product evaluation studies help you discover the most effective versions of your product.
Each of these studies has a variety of different methodologies, so not all of them will be suitable for your needs. That’s why it’s important to understand what you are looking for and the type of study that will generate the desired results.
How many customers are there in your target market?
When you have a clear picture of your target audience, you can create buyer personas and formulate marketing strategies with the information that you have. One of the first steps in creating an effective marketing plan is to define your target audience. Begin by looking at the demographics (e.g., age, gender) and psychographics (e.g., interests, lifestyles, and purchasing habits) of your ideal buyer. Then, you can determine the size of your target audience and the appropriate marketing methodologies for reaching this audience. For example, if you want to attract millennial males to your product, you might want to consider using social media to engage with this demographic.
Reaching Your Audience
How do you intend to reach your audience?
This question is similar to the previous one, but instead of asking how many people you will reach, you are asking how you will reach them. Considerations include:
- Media channels (e.g., social media, TV, radio)
- Place (e.g., store, festival, restaurant)
- Type of content (e.g., product reviews, FAQs)
- Dollar signs ($)
Once you have an idea of how you will reach your audience, you can choose the type of media that your target audience responds to and determine the ideal number of leads that you should generate for each media channel.
Determining Your Cost-Effectiveness
How much will it cost to market your product?
The cost of marketing a product refers to the expenses that you incur in order to promote your product. The primary cost that you will need to consider is the cost of paid advertising (i.e., the money that you spend on sponsored posts, display ads). Consider the following factors: