Top 3 Marketing Plan Best Practices

top 3 marketing plan best practices

Cris Willis

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Have you ever developed a Marketing Plan for your Independent Retail Business?

You may be asking yourself, “Where do I begin?” Or you may be thinking to yourself, “It is too overwhelming to put this all together.  I don’t have time for that.  I will just keep flying by the seat of my pants.  It seems to have worked in the past.”

Answer this question:  Do you like driving around lost trying to find the place you are looking for?  Does that frustrate you, raise your blood pressure and take up a lot of time?

Well, that is what you are doing when you try to throw together marketing from week to week or month to month without a plan

Your Marketing Plan is a roadmap for your business to organize, execute, and track your marketing tactics over a given time period.

Here are some best practices you need to implement to create a great Marketing Plan each year

A Marketing Book

Keep a binder or an accordion file with all the marketing you do each month for your business.  You can keep images of the ads you ran, the postcards you mailed, along with information about the events and promotions you held.  The more information you capture, the more useful it will be to you year after year.  Take notes, track and analyze what sales were generated, the ROI, whether you met your goals, and what you would do differently.  If you need a form for Event Planning and Recapping, click here to get one.

Related: Event Planning and Recap

Next year, you will love yourself when you start to plan your strategies if you have a notebook full of what worked and what you can do better this year.  So, start doing this now.


Train your Associates to be Marketers

Your associates can also be marketers and brand ambassadors for your retail business.  They are the ones that interact with your customers the most.  Your regular in-store shoppers already know them and will appreciate seeing a familiar face online and in your marketing materials.

Train them to think like marketers.  The goal is to get customers, give them a great experience, get their contact information, and then build a relationship with them so that they continue to shop with you.

Your associates are a big part of each step of this goal, so be sure you train them in each aspect.

Develop a system where your associates can keep up with your events and promotions, goals and metrics, new products, and social media talking points.  For information on how to do this, read Hiring and Training Successful Associates.

Related: 4 Things Every Retail Training Manual Needs


Consider Your Curb Appeal

Marketing is the sum of all of your business activities that present your products and services to your potential customers in such a way as to make them eager to buy.  Storefronts are easily neglected as business owners often enter thru the backdoor and do not pay attention to the entrance.  Your storefront is your customers’ first impression of your business.  Make sure it is clean, tidy, appealing, freshly painted with clean windows and a clean sidewalk.

Dress up your front windows to attract customers to want to come inside and shop.  Your store signage should be easy to read by cars and pedestrians across the street.

Make your store’s exterior more attractive, and you will attract more customers.

Related: 6 Ways Customers Can Shop In Your Store

Inject Energy into Your Store with the Magic Box


Whether your marketing plan needs a tiny tweak, requires a complete overhaul, or has yet to be created, here are 3 opportunities to help you.

1. Reach out to Retail Clarity Coaching for 1-on-1 Coaching to help you with this project.  Click here to schedule a Free 20-Minute Strategy Session to get started.

2. Join the WhizBang! Retail Training Retail Marketing Club and get marketing ideas & inspiration that will keep your register ringing all year long.  For just $49 a month (no long-term contract), you will have access to 2 live marketing meetings via Zoom or Facebook Live along with social media tips, marketing tech tips, and more.  Click Here for more information.

3. Register for the WhizBang! Training Marketing Mentor Program held Jan 11th – 14th, 2022 from 12 noon to 5 pm eastern.  In this Live Virtual Event, you will get

  • 4 days of focused learning, thinking, and plan building for your 2022 Marketing Plan
  • If you do the work, you will come away with a fully integrated and thoughtful Marketing Plan
  • Practical tools your can use and re-use year after year (templates, forms, checklists & more.)
  • The magic that happens when a group of smart, dedicated, focused business owners come together. You will work in small groups to solve problems, share ideas and give support.

Click here to Register for the Marketing Mentor Program Jan 11th – 14th, 2022

Cris Willis

Cris is a business coach for independent retailers. With 25 years of experience owning and operating a family business, she now guides retail owners to make smarter decisions regarding inventory management, marketing, sales training, product assortment, and more. When not at work, she loves to travel the country with her husband in their motorhome.

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