When you think of the people most likely to buy your products and services, what do they all have in common? Ideally, you will work to create a profile of the characteristics and qualities that your best customers most commonly exhibit. For instance, you may notice that your customers most commonly are young women between the ages of eighteen and thirty. At a minimum, you should know your best customers age range, location, income and spending behavior.

Market Research

Once you have identified your target customers, you will want to do a little market research to find out how best to structure your marketing and media program. In addition to demographic information about your clients, you will want to find out how best to communicate with them, and how best to sell them.

For instance, are your customers most often found through online media, TV ads, magazines? Do your customers perform a lot of research by browsing blogs and online resources before purchasing? Maybe content is your best buy. The key is understanding the behavior of your customers to try to identify what mix of marketing media will best reach them and persuade them to take action.

Setting Objectives

One of the most important steps is setting your business objectives. If you do not know where you want to go, you are guaranteed not to get there. This is why setting goals are critical to your plan’s success. Do you simply want greater exposure and brand awareness, or are you looking to increase sales and cash flow? This way as you take actions toward these goals you will be able to measure your progress along the way.

Create Your Plan

At this step in the process, you need to begin creating a detailed plan for your media buys and marketing programs. You need to include the specific media outlets, and candidates for where you will invest in these channels. You also need to decide on your budget and how you should allocate that budget to achieve your identified goals. If you are working with an agency, you can expect to work together to create an executive summary, a list of objectives, and your budget, targeted media channels, and the specific objectives you hope to achieve through each outlet.