In the first part of this two part series we looked at the importance of having a marketing plan and reviewed the information gathering steps needed to make your marketing plan, whether focused on branding, web design, SEO or social media marketing, a success. In this second part, we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to turn all that information into a successful marketing plan for your Ottawa business.

  1. Put it in writing – Once you have worked through your marketing planning, get it down on paper. This will make your commitment tangible and consolidates your strategy. With a written context for your business calendar, you’ll be less easily diverted or discouraged by the inevitable minor setbacks and failures. A concrete marketing plan helps you to see “the big picture” and stay with it.
  2. Set clear goals – Your marketing plan should start with clear goals to which you have made an emotional commitment. These must be simply stated and easily memorable, such as; “I want an extra $100,000 in revenue this year.”
  3. Set up deadlines – You have established your goals, listed your objectives and mapped your niche vis-à-vis the competition in the Ottawa marketplace. You know your benefits, your potential clients and how you are going to reach them. It’s time to put your hard work into effect by setting up a timetable for action. Think one year at a time, with a month-by-month implementation schedule to ensure you stick to your course in a timely and systematic manner.
  4. Prepare a realistic budget – How much money will you allocate to marketing your Ottawa business?
    1. As a rule of thumb, if your traditional, “old economy” business is in growth mode, you should devote six to eight per cent of sales to your marketing budget.
    2. In the maintenance mode, four to five per cent will suffice, while a business in a declining mode should consider a reduction to zero to two per cent for this period.
    3. In the high tech and e-business sector, the old rules fall by the wayside, but here, think more than ten per cent.

Whatever your business, don’t be afraid to spend dollars where appropriate. Create and follow a budget that makes sense and will help you achieve your
business goal.

Your winning marketing plan is now complete. As an Ottawa business owner, you know who you are and what distinctive position in the marketplace is yours. You have identified a previously unfulfilled customer need, established your unique benefits and strategically positioned your business and your advertising to deliver your unique message.

Your marketing plan further ensures that you have the resources to do what it takes to succeed in the marketplace.