One of the best places to look for marketing ideas when putting together a marketing plan is your own customer base. If you can identify how, where and why you obtained your existing clients it can give you some excellent pointers as to the best marketing strategies.
Go back a year (or two, or three depending on the nature of your business) and produce a spread sheet listing new clients landed during that period. Then create a key for different business sources (e.g. Referral, Marketing Campaign, Telemarketing, etc.) and put additional columns on the right hand side of the list to cover:
- Date relationship started
- Approximate annual value
- Source key (from above)
- Name of source (if appropriate)
- Sales executive
Sort the list by Source Key and then by the name of the Source and see what patterns develop. You may be surprised by the results.
One client of mine, who runs an advertising agency, went through this exercise. He thought he knew where his business came from, but he was surprised to see how much of it came from referrals from the advertising media. While he knew he got leads from that source, he had never realized just how much of it did.
It made a big difference to the way he constructed his marketing plan.