8 Action items for entrepreneurs to make an effective marketing plan

Dear entrepreneur,

Pune OpenCoffee Club (POCC) had organized a session on ‘Marketing planning for start-ups’ where I was a speaker. We conducted a quick survey about the entrepreneurial marketing planning efforts. Twenty seven entrepreneurs in Pune participated in the survey.


  1. 44% Entrepreneurs don’t create a marketing plan!
  2. 26% Entrepreneurs feel that their customers don’t understand how their product/service is different than the competitors.
  3. 19% Entrepreneurs don’t plan about how they communicate with their prospective, past, & current customers.
  4. 59% Entrepreneurs don’t plan their Public Relations (PR) activities.
  5. 67% Entrepreneurs think they are not using ‘advertisements’ effectively.
  6. 37% Entrepreneurs feel that they don’t get ‘right price’ for their product/service.
  7. 48% Entrepreneurs don’t have a networking plan.
  8. 33% Entrepreneurs don’t budget for marketing activities.

Action items for entrepreneurs

  1. Creating a marketing plan is a first step towards becoming a successful marketer. If you don’t have a marketing plan, at least get started by writing your plan on a single piece of paper.
  2. Your customer should know how your product/service different than the competitors. To get started, identify your strength and start communicating it through your marketing content.
  3. You should have a communication plan to interact with different audiences. To get started, identify different audiences you need to cater to. Then explore how you can regularly communicate with them. 
  4. Public Relation happens when media gives coverage to your events, product/service, etc. To get started, understand pain points of your customers. Then make a list of journalists and keep in touch by providing content useful to the media and your customers.
  5. Advertising is a direct communication between you and your customers. First decide the objective of the advertisement and then your budget for it, followed by the selection of a medium.
  6. Pricing of your product/service is a tricky decision. First understand whether you offer cost reduction or revenue increase through your product/service. Then decide suitable method for pricing like cost based, value based, etc. Then you have to experiment because there is no golden rule.
  7. Business networking can make or break your entrepreneurial journey. To get stated list different audiences you need to network with. Then explore your personal network followed by identifying networking events.
  8. If you don’t have a budget for marketing, you are in trouble. You don’t incur cost in marketing. Marketing activity is an investment you make which is in the best interest of your customer, supplier, employees, and other stakeholders. To get started, first decide your overall business budget followed by deciding marketing budget. There are number of different methods for identifying a marketing budget like percentage of last year’s revenue, percentage of this year’s expected revenue, etc. I think the amount of marketing budget is a reflection of your aspiration in your entrepreneurial journey.

Do you agree?

This blog is cross posted at LinkedIn

Dr. Sachin Mohan Bhide
Marketing Consultant
Eha Management Consultancy
Mobile: +919823038828
Email: sachin@ehamanagementconsultancy.com

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