Tips For Creating A Marketing Plan With £0 Budget

Got £0 to play with for your marketing planning? Here are some practical pointers to help you get cracking on less than a shoestring budget.

Let’s start with a definition of what marketing is; Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. * (The Chartered Institute of Marketing)

Marketing starts and finishes with building up an intimate knowledge of your customer, what their needs are now and anticipating what they might be in the future.

Getting to know your customer

  • Encourage feedback at every opportunity. Create a basic customer satisfaction survey that can be filled in quickly either online or face to face.  Try and identify the aspects of your offer that are really important to your customer for them to score. You may have to offer a small incentive.
  • Make it easy for customers to complain. You need honest opinions to fix the things that matter to your customer.
  • Look after your existing customers rather than putting too much of a focus on getting new ones.

What does your business stand for?

  • Try and define your business in a single sentence. It won’t be easy, but if you can’t simply explain what you do, how will your customers be sure?
  • Carefully identify what your business has to offer and use this consistently across all of your communications.
  • Think about your organisation/product/service as a series of benefits and not features. These should be a mix of both the functional and emotional, i.e how buying from you will make you feel.

Knowing your competition

  • Keeping a constant eye on competitors should be a key part of your marketing efforts.
  • Only by knowing this will you know if you are in the strong position of offering something unique or offering something which is available already but hopefully in a better way.
  • Without genuine differentiation you will end up competing on price. Consumers pay extra for brands which tends to lead to greater profits.

Communications and content

  • We live in a multi-channel world, but whether you’re communicating face to face, in print or through online channels, content is king. Make your communications informative, helpful and professional. A touch of humour can sometimes help too.
  • Don’t be shy about asking customers for testimonials and referrals. This is a powerful source of reassurance for customers.

Internal marketers

  • Get everyone in the organisation to understand your brand and what it stands for, giving everyone the opportunity and confidence to promote what you do. This comes back to the success of describing what you do in a sentence, sometimes known as the elevator pitch.

Measurement

  • It’s key that you try and measure key aspects of your marketing. Without measurement you don’t know what is working well and what you should do more of or what is not working and what you should potentially stop.

So, there you have it – a few key things to think about when creating a marketing plan with very little budget.  Effective marketing is not always about spending large amounts of money and there’s lots of low cost or no cost ideas for you to try.  The key to success will always be the relevance to your customer.

 

Andrew Langford

Head of Marketing and Commercial Operations

York CVS

@YorkCVS

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