Having a documented marketing plan is one of the keys to successful business.
But not all organizations have a marketing plan -- and smaller companies are even less likely to have one. In fact, only 56% of small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) have one developed.
Marketing plans aren’t the only thing that some companies are missing -- 23 percent admit they don't have specific marketing goals. And specific goals are important -- as the saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there?
So if marketing plans are such a good idea, why don’t all businesses have them?
To explain that, let’s meet Joe, who's been a business owner for four years. He’s extremely busy but making it. He feels okay about his business, but knows he could be doing better.
Here is his thought process and internal dialog – see if you find it familiar in some ways.
What Joe says:
Why don’t I take the time to work on a marketing plan? …
Let’s face it, I’m busy just trying to keep things running and bringing in new customers. I can’t waste time on thinking and formalizing my marketing options – that’s just extra paperwork that I don’t have time for!
But in the back of Joe’s mind, he’s thinking –
But creating an effective marketing plan could simplify my efforts and help me get more customers. It would also make me set objectives and help align my marketing resources with those goals. It would also ensure I’m targeting potential “ideal customers” and offering what they value.
But I don’t need that -- of course I already know what I’m doing! Got it all up here in my melon!!
But then again, I've got a lot to think about. A plan would formalize my ideas and concepts – maybe help pin point the most effective ones. I guess writing them down would help think through the feasibility of certain marketing approaches and help me know what resources I would have to plan on dedicating to get it done. Plus it would help keep efforts focused - there are so many marketing tools and technologies available today, it’s easy for me to become distracted and lose sight of the intended outcomes of my efforts. Just like that tweeting thing I do every night – I "fall in" and forget why I'm there sometimes!
I could pull that old marketing plan out I did 3 years ago, I don’t think I’ve done even half of it.
Maybe if I followed a good framework and formula it would help establish tasks, timelines and milestones. Also give me a way to track progress and adjust when needed. I guess marketing wouldn’t seem so overwhelming. I read somewhere that a good marketing plan includes clearly defined objectives that make it easier to identify the tasks that need to be done. Adding time frames and milestones is also helpful, and necessary if sales are seasonal or event related. Yes, this could be worth the effort!
But then again, I like to go with the flow, not be tied down.
Hummm, of course planning ahead can help take advantage of discounts and events that require advance notice. Or I could plan multi-channel campaigns that reach target audiences at the exact time they are looking for our service. I guess if I keep in mind a marketing plan is an enabler and a flexible document, not a straitjacket, I could leave some room and budget for opportunities that come up from time to time when things are hot. This could make my marketing efforts much more economical and effective!!
Well, I guess it is a good idea to work on an effective marketing plan to help ensure my businesses success. But how do I get time? Is there someone that can help make this easier?
Yes! If you see yourself thinking thinking about any of these comments, contact Broad Reach Marketing Services
Or get your copy of the 7 Step Framework for Effective Marketing!
Let's create a strong marketing plan together!
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