Marketing 101: Owners Never Plan to Fail but Often Fail to Plan!


You need a marketing plan. Without one, you are like a person in a dark room trying to find something. Eventually you may stumble across it, but how much time did you waste in the process? If you had turned on the lights, the odds are that you would have found it a lot faster. Let?s see if we can turn on a light or two.

A good marketing plan helps you define goals and develop activities to achieve those goals. Keep it simple when you start, but return often to revise and update it. Here are the basic elements to get you started:

  •     Describe your Unique Selling Proposition
  •     Define your Target Market
  •     Clarify the Benefits of your Club
  •     Position your Club
  •     Create your Marketing Communications Plan
  •     Define your Budget and Resources
  •     Revisit and Refine your Marketing Plan

How do you tell the world about you? We refer to this as a marketing communications plan. This plan will match your available budget of time and money to the most effective means of distributing your message. The best plan is an integrated program that has all parts of your tactics working together to promote a consistent message to your customers.

Your plan should include consideration of marketing methods in these five critical areas:

  • External Marketing: 
    Traditional advertising such as direct mail, radio, TV, newspapers.
  • Internal Marketing: 
    Retention, referral, former members, and low user campaigns.
  • Corporate Marketing: 
    Health fairs, wellness seminars, payroll stuffers, email blasts.
  • Community Outreach: 
    Charity events, blood drives, safety fairs, sponsorship opportunities
  • Guerilla Marketing: 
    Cost effective vehicles such as lead boxes, take-ones, passes, etc.

Although virtually every entrepreneur or business owner has ideas about how to market their company?s products or services, few actually have taken the time to develop a marketing plan. Whether your marketing budget is $1,000 or $1,000,000, it makes sense to plan out how, where and when you will spend it throughout the year.

For a free copy of How to create a Marketing Plan, click here.