To be successful in business you need two things:
1. A great product or service that fills a need, and
2. Effective promotion of that product or service.
For this article, we will automatically assume that you have a great product or service (or have found a great product or service to promote as an affiliate.) The purpose of this article is to give you advice on a system you can follow to ensure that your marketing and research activities are planned carefully to best suit your business going forward.
A model that is often used in marketing and public relations planning is the ROPES model. The steps in ROPES are Research, Objectives, Programming, Evaluation and Stewardship. This process was developed my Public Relations theorist Kathleen Kelly in 2001. Below you will find a short explanation of each of the steps:
• Research- With your research you are going to look at a few things. If you are promoting another persons product or service you will research that. You will also research potential target publics as well as problems or opportunities you can exploit to meet the needs of your target publics.
• Objectives- What do you want to achieve? Obviously you want more sales, but in some niches, or if you are in service provision, increasing brand awareness may also be an important objective to consider.
• Programming- Programming involves planning how you will achieve your objectives, including what messages you will send to target audiences, and what medium you will use to meet each of these target audiences. Does your target public prefer text, audio or video?
• Evaluation- When you are formulating an objective, you need to structure it in a way that is measurable. This could be number of click-throughs, number of sales etc. The message and medium should also be tailored to ensure that you can measure their effectiveness.
• Stewardship- Stewardship refers to an often overlooked aspect of marketing and public relations. That is, maintaining relationships with existing customers. Countless studies have shown that it is much easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to try and find another customer. You need to make sure that you do not ignore your existing customers as you grow your business.
Whilst marketing and public relations is not purely linear, and you need to be constantly researching and evaluating, aspects of your marketing and public relations do generally follow the ROPES process mentioned above.