Marketing Plan: How to Get Started

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hi you've been asked to do a marketing

plan if we're a marketing project many

of you in the course introduction to

business so what I want you to do here

today is to walk you through the first

part of the marketing plan and talk

about how you introduce your product or

service in this type of a document so

let's take a look at our agenda for

today first we're going to talk about

what should be in your project or your

plan and the elements we're going to

cover today is first a description of

your features a description of your

benefits and there is a difference your

customer profile notice I didn't say

target but profile and we'll talk about

how that's different and how you gather

this information together to discuss

explain and sell your competitive

advantage bottom line when you're doing

a marketing plan what you're trying to

do is explain to someone what you're

selling why people should care and

specifically why one particular profile

of customer should care so let's get

started what should be in your project

basically what I just described but here

is a list in detail the first thing that

you want to do is describe your product

or service in detail in this video I'm

going to touch on the service and I'm

going to go into a bit more detail about

the product so that you can see some

visuals which is a bit different or

difficult to do for a service we're

going to describe that product or

service in terms of its features which

is very different from its core benefits

if you're interested in learning more

about core benefits versus other types

of benefits I will refer in the

description of this video to other

videos that you can that you can view to

get that sense you want to identify your

one customer now this does sound

counterintuitive since you want to

settle a lot of your product or service

right but we're going to look at what

focusing your message can do to really

developing your point of difference and

this should say differ and shame on me

to clarify your point of difference what

makes you different and then write it up

in plan form

so describe your service let's take an

example an example that we used in my

intro to business class recently is that

of having a taxi alright so let's say

you are an independent taxi owner so

first of all what do you do and the way

that my class describe it is I

essentially people pay me to take them

from point A to point B right I take you

from one place to the next

you pay me money all right who-who am I

taking from one place to another someone

who needs to go there right but I want

to define it a little bit more than that

what is my point A to point B do I hang

out at the airport and take people to

hotels do I hang out at hotels and take

people to points of Attraction all right

and when do I offer my services am I

primarily during high tourist times do I

work during conventions so it's

important in your description of a

service talk about start to define the

area or your niche in your business how

often am i on Monday through Friday kind

of a service am i strictly on Saturdays

and Sundays that will depend on some of

the questions that I've answered

previously and how does someone order my

service do they only find out about me

because they see me can they find me

online but not just find me online but

can they book my service online is that

possible and in one of my marketing

classes we are doing an online web

component where web and ordering online

will definitely be one of the channels

that a customer can order my service and

where are you located now it might not

matter where your actual offices are

located what people want to know is what

is your base of operations okay and that

means are you working primarily in the

city are you a city to city kind of taxi

driver are you taking people from the

suburbs to the city and back are you

working just in the suburbs so despite

where your offices are located what

people are looking for is well where are

you where do you fit within what I

understand of where I am

all right so these are some features of

describing a service all right

now we'll look at product next as I know

particularly in my introduction to

business class we did and will go all in

great detail about features around a

service which is what their website is

going to be about but I want to take an

example of a product which is probably a

more common example to walk through some

of this with you online today so let's

talk about product features all right

product features talk about what the

person is getting for their money

all right we're going to use Campbell

Soup at hand if you're describing this

product you might first describe say

it's from camels that becomes important

you'll notice it can be heated in the

container okay there's a lid that is

spill proof it's contoured for the shape

of your hand all right these are all

great descriptions of the feature you

might talk about the variety of flavors

that are available you might talk about

the nutrients I can spell you may talk

about the nutrients you can certainly

talk about the fact that Campbell's soup

at hand supports schools you can talk

about how the container fits into the

cup holder in a car and you can talk

about the fact that you can either buy

it individually or you can buy it in

packs of eight three six twelve whatever

packs that you have all of these things

that it's a microwavable container etc

are all product features what am I

getting for my money right that is not

the same as benefits so here are some of

the features

this says insulated copy even though you

can't read it this says contour to the

hand and this says you know a Sybil cap

essentially these are these are the

things you're getting for your money but

that's not the benefit this is why the

consumer cares and you notice I'm says I


years here this talks about more than

just the physical exchange of money all

right let's look at this woman its Sybil


anytime anywhere so this ad is telling

me the benefit of Campbell's soup at

hand is that this in demand mom who

loves her kids

and kids playing soccer can take care of

herself at the same time that she takes

care of everything else

because this consumer knows that on a

daily basis

she needs to be super mom right how many

of us haven't felt that way super mom or

super dad so the benefit of this product

is you can take care of yourself and

never slow down that is a very different

conversation then red plastic molded

microwavable cup all right these are the

core values what the consumer cares

about that the way they behave the way

that they would choose one product or

another because of what their heart is

telling them and not just their

pocketbook all right so these are

benefits these are benefits all right so

who is this customer who is this

customer that would care about the

benefits okay well I mentioned might be

counterintuitive but often particularly

entrepreneurs will say oh my gosh I

can't leave anyone out 18 plus any adult

will you actually diminish your chances

to attract a customer that way because

you can't talk to eighteen plus what

message do you give them you need to

know your customer if you're the taxi

driver I want to know the person I pick

up at the airport who goes flies in and

out of New York one day at a time

three or four times a year loves to

listen to music on the way into the

airport hates to listen to music on the

way back because she's exhausted and yes

that was me and that taxi driver got my

business every time because he knew me

as a customer

all right my habits so let's think about

this the first thing you do need to

understand is the facts and you're

trying to get to again your one customer

all right so 18 plus 24 234 that's not

one person okay you want to know where

this person lives you want to know about

how much money they make and you want to

know what gender they are these are just

some examples of demographics all right

this is a good place to start but it's

nowhere near where you need to end in

your customer profile you also want to

know what their preferences are as I

mentioned in the taxi example right what

do they read what do they eat what do

they watch on TV what movies do they go

to what do they do

alright how does he or she behave do

they want to fit in all right if you

look at the iPhone commercials right now

the iPhone 5 against the Samsung Galaxy

they're portraying iPhone 5 users as

kind of almost lemmings that are all

trying to fit in and get the new iPhone

but Samsung users are going a different

way they're ahead of the curve and they

don't care if people know that or not

they just are right are you trying to

get ahead in business do you value

family are you an impulse shopper are

you going through a life change for

example are you did you just have

children are your children leaving the

house have you retired are you in the

middle of your career these are all

questions to ask about your customer as

you put together a profile again if

you're interested customer profile

videos are coming and I will make sure

to mention them in the video description

so that you can learn more but let's use

our example of this of this woman for a

customer profile I'm going to name her

Sally all right Sally and it's important

to name your customer in your customer

profile sally has school-aged kids right

they play soccer all right I'm just

going to choose soccer it's one of the

more popular sports right now for kids

my kids actually play the cross I'm in

about the same age range as Sally I'm at

about the same

age or at least as far as you know about

the same age as Sally and the life stage

look at what she's juggling she is in

demand and we're not talking about her

career here we're not talking about

corner office we're talking about office

we're talking about splitting her time

with the kids we're talking about soccer

we're talking about her personal

interests she is highly in demand and

she needs the Sybil soup anytime

anywhere because she is in one of the

busiest stages of her life

that's not expo busiest busiest stages

of her life all right

so Sally looking like soccer her clothes

she is in a higher income bracket than

average okay um she's wearing fall

clothes so she's somewhere let's say

she's in the Midwest all right where

there's you know warm weather and soup

all makes sense um she likes to read

Good Housekeeping and she likes to read

working mother magazine she watches

Saturday Night Live when the kids go to


and she has an iPhone now we're starting

to put together a customer profile so

this is the kind of information you're

trying to gather and I will in that link

include a worksheet that will help you

think through some of the questions you

could be asking yourself now let's

gather some of this together into a

competitive advantage all right now this

is a typical definition of competitive

advantage that I give my students it is

not the technical definition but it's

the essence and that is the competitive

advantage is the reason someone would

buy your product or service over the

competitors on a regular basis all right

so this is the reason why someone notice

it says one not people someone would buy

your product or service

over the competitors on a regular basis

or you might get someone to switch on a

coupon but that's not what we're talking

about here all right and the answer to

your competitive advantage is a

combination of features benefits and

your customer profile not just who they

are but your knowledge of them and of

course you can't underplay brand you

notice I'm using a red marker here

because red is a key component of

Campbell's soup brands when you see the

red can you know it's Campbell's right

and Campbell's come with a lot comes

with a lot of notions of warmth right

family tradition history but this new

product of theirs is also very modern

all right it's on the go its convenience

so you get all the brand of Campbell's

with the reasons that Sallie would buy

Campbell Soup at hand today and it's

reinforced by what are called augmented

values like caring for schools caring

for kids so all this together the reason

someone would buy Campbell's it's

because it's Campbell's it's the soup

you know in the flavors you love on the

go so you never miss a beat that's the

competitive advantage for Campbell's

soup at hand and you want to try and

distill down to that kind of a comment

in your products all right so one way to

really understand how to talk about your

competitive advantage is to look at one

or two close competitors all right what

kind of products or services do they

have that are similar and how do you

position your products against it so

there might be quick ways to get

Progresso soup all right but how is soup

at hand by and and blue is by the way

progressives brand color how does

Campbell's compare

and specifically supid hand compared to

Progreso all right and how would you

convince a consumer to purchase your

product or service over there so in this

case over progressives I'm going to talk

about the convenience and I'm going to

talk about the features okay

so I've done a lot of talking and

scribbling and that's all wonderful as

you're giving a presentation but in

particular as you're writing a plan

there is a structure that is associated

with a plan and I will as I create the

next video kind of link that structure

into the description but just like any

good piece of professional communication

you want to start with an introduction

right you want to tell people what your

purpose is for this service or product

you want to focus each paragraph on one

idea at a time as you develop through

your features benefits and customer and

competitor competitive advantage right

so each one might have multiple

paragraphs which you really want to

watch that transition and you want to

end with a conclusion this is your final

chance your call to action alright after

reading your document what do you want

the reader of that plan to do do you

need money are you trying to create a

website so is this going to help them

develop that site are you trying to get

someone to buy your product are you

trying to get a grocery store to carry

it so you want to really think through

that conclusion in terms of a call for

action and as always every opportunity

to create a piece of professional

communication is also an opportunity to

create credibility or destroy it

proofread your work have someone else

look at it because it will set you apart

it's one way to make sure your message

gets through thank you for spending time

with me I hope you enjoy the project