When you have a great product, idea, or company, you want to get the word out as soon and as loudly as you can. You want everyone to know that you have or are the best. Doing this requires having a great advertising plan. All great advertising plans are unique in many ways, but coming up with a good strategy for marketing requires the same steps every time. These three steps will help you define a great advertising plan so you can make sure every future customer and client knows how good your product, idea, or service is.

1) Before you can begin marketing, you must decide whom exactly you are marketing too. What is your market? Are you aimed at children? Adults? Women? Men? Deciding exactly who your target customer is is key to having a marketing strategy that will work. You need to design a “model customer” who you can target. Is she overweight? Does he feel too scrawny? Is she a mother or career woman? Does she do both? Is he overworked, lazy, smart, tired, etc.? Deciding what your customer is will help you find success as you build your marketing strategy.

2) Next you need to put together the meat of your strategy. Decide where you will market—just your location, nationwide, globally, Internet—whatever you need. Figure out the best way to reach your target customer. Is it someone who prefers shopping online? Online ads are the way to go. Someone who spends a lot of time in the car? Billboards or radio ads may be more important. Kids? TV ads or Internet ads are probably what you are working on. Decide how to find your customer and make sure your name and product are where they will see it over and over again. Then decide how you want your campaign to be. For children and teens you probably want witty or silly. For adults, intelligent and formal may be better. Only you can decide, based on your ideal customer and what he or she would respond best to. You also need to find the best time to market. Year round campaigns are good, but be certain that it wouldn’t be better to do a marketing blitz around the holidays or in a certain season. You want to get the most bang for your buck, so be sure you have considered all your options before you start paying for your advertising plan.

3) The last step is the follow-up. After any advertising campaign is run, you need to sit down with everyone who was involved (ad guys, artists, writers, product makers, and all the rest who worked on it), and decided if it really worked. Look at the sales numbers and see if the results were what you expected. Try to get a feel for whether people thought it was a good campaign, or were disappointed. Make notes on what went well and what didn’t, so you can remember and apply those lessons in the next advertising plan.

When you follow these three steps faithfully, you will be well on your way to finding success in all your advertising plans.

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