Why You Need a Marketing Plan
Do you have your plan ready to go yet?
As much as you want to procrastinate, developing a marketing plan is a must for your business. Here are ten facts that will inspire you to put some structure around your business growth.
1. Forces you to think.
Developing a marketing plan forces you to consider your customers, your product, and how to best bring these things together. It is important to discuss this with other members of your team, especially the members who are responsible for executing the plan.
2. Creates measurable goals.
Many small businesses settle for “sell more next year than last year” and “don’t go broke” as ways to measure their success. Measurable goals create benchmarks for you and your team to work towards. These benchmarks can increase performance that greatly exceeds the “just don’t fail” hopes.
3. It motivates your organization.
The human brain takes arbitrary goals and makes them important. This could be problematic, but you can also make it work for you. People will go the extra mile to achieve a goal – even when we set the goal ourselves, because of the pleasure we get from achieving the goal.
4. Helps organize your time and priorities.
There are only so many hours in the day, and only so many of those are given to marketing functions. You can either prioritize and do the important things first, or flail. Having a plan shows you on a daily which marketing actions are in accordance with your plan and on your priority list.
5. It can get you money.
A marketing plan is a non-negotiable part of a business plan. If you’re planning to go to investors at some point in the future, you’re going to need a marketing plan. Start working on it now, so the plan you present to investors has actually been proven through experience.
6. Gets everybody on the same page.
The importance of consistency in your marketing cannot be overemphasized. When you have a marketing plan, everyone on your team knows what the plan is. When everyone knows what the plan is, it makes it possible to follow the plan.
7. You’ll spend your money more wisely.
Like your time, your marketing budget is finite. When you identify your priorities in advance you are able to assign resources accordingly. With a plan you will know if you should be pursuing a great deal or new strategy that comes along.
8. Be proactive and not reactive.
Reactivity is a difficult problem for many small businesses, because they simply aren’t able to anticipate everything in advance. Small businesses are often very flexible and able to handle shifting conditions quickly, but it also makes carrying out a disciplined plan more difficult. Having a written plan allows you to base your reaction to new things around a schedule of what they should be.
9. Reality check between your overall objectives and your marketing strategy.
Your business might be pursuing many different goals. You might want to be an industry leader in your field, maybe you want the highest growth rate, or you might want to have the best-compensated employee base. Regardless of your objectives, your marketing is going to finance them.
Those two components of your overall strategy has to be in sync. Without a plan, it’s very easy to believe that your overall objectives are being worked on, when in fact you may be getting further away. Without a written marketing plan you could have conflict between these elements of your overall strategy.
10. Provide better customer service.
When your marketing plan is developed you will know how you want to serve your customers. Doing a good job becomes difficult when you aren’t sure what you are doing. You will find much more success when you have identifiable goals in mind.