A marketing plan will help you identify and prioritise the right marketing activities and avoid costly mistakes. However, any successful plan needs a bit of preparation to really work.
There are all sorts of formats for a marketing plan, but they essentially boil down to two parts. There’s the strategic part - which addresses why you do what you do, your positioning, your goals and objectives and, the tactical part - which sets out all the marketing activities that you need to do to realise your strategy.
Whenever I’m asked to help clients with a marketing plan, I start by asking them to step back and do some thinking of their own. There’s a very good chance they’ve not considered all the strategic issues before they want to get into the tactics.
The reality for many of us (me included!) is that we want to get on and do things. If we are doing things, we must be making progress, right? The truth is, in our desire to get results it’s easy to race ahead, overlooking some essential questions.
Before you start working on your marketing plan, clarity on these points will make it a whole lot easier for you to focus on what you really want to do.
Your ‘Why’: Why are you in business, why do you do it instead of the other options you might have? Why do you care about the customers you’d like to work with - and can you demonstrate it? It’ll really help if you can. I like this quote from leadership advisor Robin Sharma “No one cares what you know, if they don’t know that you care.”
Your ideal customers: What does the right customer look like - and the wrong one? What type of customer would enhance your day - and make you grateful you are in business? They’d ideally be stimulating to work with while generating good revenue. Developing a persona of your ideal customer is an important pre-cursor to a marketing plan.
So, two things to help you get started - but pretty important ones.
I can help you explore some of the strategic questions - and identify the tactics you’ll need to meet those objectives. But, a plan is only as useful as your ability to execute it. If you need support to put it all into action - I can help with that too.
"Ben took the mystery out of marketing and made it into practicable, accessible processes that my team and I have been able to implement.” Sharon Alred, Signature Recruitment
To find out more or have a chat about how a marketing plan can help your business grow, please get in touch.