Marketing plans are an essential component of long term successful businesses (we define “success” as setting a lifestyle, growth, or financial goal, achieving it, and resetting the goals to consolidate or exceed the results). But marketing plans are also hard work to get right, and therein, often overlooked or undervalued.

With this in mind, we created a 5 Ingredient Marketing Cake which identifies the bare minimum characteristics of a business to identify in order to give that business the best chance for “winning” opportunities more often. The ingredients are:

  1. What need or want do your services or products fulfil? Not the technical characteristics, but the problem your offerings solve (this is usually a time, money, or stress saving solution). Being able to quantify this is important.
  2. How are your products or services delivered differently than your competitors? Are you faster, cheaper, more thorough, more responsive, or have a broader skill set? Being able to quantify this is important.
  3. Who benefits from having this need or want satisfied? Do your offerings *perfectly* suit small, medium, or large business, or the consumer?
  4. How do you reach this audience? If you are unable to call, email, or physically present to them, can you pitch their personal assistant? Can you reach them via social media or sponsor an event they are involved in? Will gifts work, or do you need to be more sophisticated? What will it take to start an engagement?
  5. What do you communicate to them when you have their attention? Do you need supporting material? What key message do they need to hear for you to make second base? What dialogue keeps them thinking about you after you are gone?

You will never hear us talk down the suitability of a marketing plan. When done properly, they work. But for those who have either had a bad experience with a marketing plan or are unsure how to get started, our 5 Ingredient Marketing Cake will help you get moving.