Promotional Plan

This section helps you focus on what message you’re trying to promote and how you will promote it. By going through this part of the workbook you will come up with an action plan to help you move forward with your promotional plan.

Remember that people buy for benefits, not features. It’s your job to make them aware of the uniqueness of your products/services. People will not buy products or services if they are not aware of them, nor will they buy products or services if they do not understand them or care about them.

There are many ways you can motivate a customer to buy:

  • You can motivate with fear. Be careful! Everyone has insecurities and doubts. Use rational reasons. Do not push or intimidate your customer in order to get the sale. Use believable reasons, or you will lose your credibility and hurt your image and business. Show them:
    • How not buying your product/services will affect them
    • What they will be missing if they do not by the product
  • You can motivate through self-interest. Show how you are filling their needs or wants.
    • Use rational reasons when filling a need. Facts and customer testimonials will make your products or services more credible. You also can use guarantees and test results to help customers understand the benefits of your products or services.
    • Use emotional reasons when filling a want. The stronger the appeal, the more likely your customers will buy your products or services. Some customers need excuses to buy, so give them what they want.

You need to get the customer’s attention. This is the toughest step. Your packaging can help get the customer’s attention, but you need to do more. Always put your customer in the message. Use words like, “you”, “your”, or “yourself.” Use questions to challenge the customer. Start your headlines with words like, “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, “how”, or “which.” Consider using pictures or demonstrations to get your customer’s attention.

Convey a simple message stating the benefits to the customer, using benefit statements that the customer can relate to and understand. A common mistake is to cram too much information at the consumer. One of the following themes could be used for your messages:

  • Inform of the benefits of your product or service.
  • Change the image of your product, service, or business.
  • Teach something new about your product, service, or business.
  • Remind of past satisfaction with your product or service.

Finally, ask for action! What do you want the customer to do after seeing your message?

  • Buy your product or service,
  • Try your product or service on a trial offer,
  • Come to see your business,
  • Call for a brochure, or
  • Call for more information
    • ALWAYS tell the customer how to reach you. Include your business name, address, city, state, telephone, number, email address, and/or web address.

Generally businesses spend 2% – 7% of their operating budget on promotion. Spend cash efficiently and effectively. To make the most of your investment, get the right message to the right person at the right time. This is where target marketing comes in. Use your customer profile information to help target your message. Repetition is key. Customers need to see or hear your message at least 6 times to remember it. Pick one medium and do a thorough job before trying another form.

Be sure to track responses from your promotional efforts. Ask your customers how they heard about your business or product. This allows you to know what promotion technique is working for you.