Business Articles - Marketing

For Effective Promotions, Plan Your Marketing

What's your marketing plan look like for this year? If your answer to that question is a vague "I don't know," you've got trouble ahead. If it's "Let's wait and see," that's not good either.

Marketing is too important to guess at. What you need is a strategy that considers the needs of your market and provides a year-round plan to meet those needs.

A marketing plan gives you a calm, rational approach to anticipate slow times, and keeps you promoting yourself when business is booming. And it's not as hard as you think. In fact, here are four simple steps to get your plan started:

1. Determine your sales goals in service, upgrades and replacements.
2. Assign a percentage of those numbers to your marketing budget. Aggressive contracting companies can spend up to 10 percent, while slow, mature companies may only spend 2.5 percent.
3. Figure your percentage of sales for your "peak" and "off-peak" seasons.
4. From this, you can quickly determine the "timing" for service, upgrade or replacement promotions for each quarter, using the percentage of sales per item as a basis for your marketing.

Sure, this is a simple formula, but it can work wonders when captured in a year-round plan. By giving you a basis for your annual marketing activity, it keeps you from being reactive, when you should be more proactive.

By Adams Hudson

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a creative marketing firm for contractors. Readers can get a free marketing newsletter by faxing their letterhead with the request to 334-262-1115. Call 1-800-489-9099 or check out for other free marketing articles and reports.

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