Like so many other business owners, you may not be getting the most out of you marketing plan.
So I want to share with you 7 reasons why your business needs a good marketing plan, URGENTLY!
Firstly, we need to lay the foundation of what marketing is before understanding the importance of having a marketing plan.
Marketing could be described as the skill of masterfully telling your target market about you, your business, your product or service or your particular offers. It is a skill. Marketing should never be a random series of actions. It is about masterfully constructing a narrative which is designed to convey a message. And you, as a business owner or director of a business should be in control of that narrative.
Utilising a well-constructed marketing plan template could help you do this in a simple and effective manner.
Unfortunately, most business men and women are not in control the narrative. And the reason they don’t control the narrative is a lack of thoughtful, purposefully designed planning of their marketing processes and actions.
Whether you have an in-house marketing team/person or you use and an external marketing contractor, as the business owner/director, you should own the marketing planning and the execution of that plan. Don’t leave it to someone else, even if they have more skill and experience than you.
Learn from them and use their ideas, but own the narrative. At the end of the day, it is your business.
Please understand, for those of you who may be new to the blog, I am not a marketer, marketing consultant nor am I trying to sell you marketing services.
I have, however, learned some hard and costly lessons about marketing. What works and what does not work for me and my business. Both online and offline and I want to share those lessons with you.
So let me give you 7 reasons why your business needs a marketing plan which you own and execute.
- It will allow you to maximise your internal and external resources.
None of us have infinite resources, whether it is time resources, financial resources, people resources.
By having a well-constructed marketing plan you will be able to maximise the resources you have and ensure they deliver the best results possible.
You will save money by knowing exactly what you want out of your marketing exercise and how you are going to get it.
And this is ultimately what you want and need.
- It will give you a measurable set of criteria to define your success
If you have no measurement criteria, how will you define success? Equally, how will you define failure?
As I mentioned earlier, if your marketing is a random series of ‘lets throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks’ adverts programs, tweets, social media posts, blogs, videos, etc, very little will stick and the results will be meaningless.
- It will force you to really get to know and understand you target market and target clients.
Most small and medium sized business have very little idea of who their ideal clients are and so have very little idea of how to market to them.
Developing an effective marketing plan will force you to gain clear perceptive on who your clients really are and how to engage with them.
It will set you apart from the majority of your competitors as most of them will not be planning well and most don’t have a clear idea of who their ideal client is.
- It will help with you time management.
As you develop your marketing plan, the initial time commitment will be offset by the time saved when you begin to implement your plan.
It saves time because you are not running around trying to create stuff which may or may not work.
Having a clear plan of what we are doing everyday in terms of our marketing has given me so much extra time to do other things that need doing.
- It will give you focus and control of the narrative.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, you as a business owner or director need to be in control of the narrative which marketing is putting in front of your clients.
Having a plan which is clear and carefully thought out will give you that, even if you are using an external marketing consultant or agent.
You will be empowered to deliver your message clearly and accurately.
- It will make your decision making process way easier.
A marketing plan will take away all of the second guessing, wishful thinking and assumptions which drain resources and make marketing ineffective.
Your decisions will be easy and simple.
Just follow the plan.
- It will lower the risk you have in your business and will enhance your reputation.
Having a carefully thought out marketing plan lowers the risk in your business because it puts you in control of what is being put out in the public domain, when it is going out and who it is going out to.
Targeted marketing for targeted results.
It will enhance your reputation because your clients will have a focused idea of who you are what you do.
Create a Marketing Plan that delivers.
So you have some ideas now why you need a marketing plan. The question now becomes, ‘How do you create a plan that is effective and delivers results?’
There are so many methods you could use and it is likely that if you had 5 marketing consultants in a room, you would end 5 different methods or ways of creating a plan. As I said previously, I have found, through trial and error, what works for me and what has not worked.
These are the 5 things I have found your marketing plan needs to ensure it is effective and delivers the results you want. And these fit into the framework I spoke about in a previous post.
Why are you doing? What is the objective of this marketing campaign? What do you want out of it?
When will the campaign run? What are the parameters you want to set around the marketing effort? When will the end dates be? When during the process will you begin to measure success or failure? Who is it targeted at?
What are the platforms you are using? It is social media? Newspaper, radio or TV adverts? Email? Telephone marketing Multiple platforms? What platforms do the clients I am targeting engage with?
How are you going to deliver to the platforms you have decided on? Who will do what parts of the delivery? Will any be outsourced? Who will it be outsourced to? What will you scripts of your emails and phone calls look like? How will your ads be laid out?
What are the small wins along the way, which you can measure and will deliver the outcome you want? How will you celebrate those wins?
These and so many others are all critical questions to ask as you develop your marketing plan for success. By asking and answering these 5 components and the questions within them in depth, your marketing will be clear, concise and will deliver the outcomes you want.
Take your time with creating a marketing plan, even put your current marketing on hold, until your plan is clear, definable and measurable.
Don’t leave your marketing to chance and random efforts.