A survey done by Search Engine Journal found that the majority of small businesses* do not have a marketing plan developed.
Why is this? It may be because it’s difficult to set aside time for planning, or perhaps the business owners don’t know where to begin.
But the investment in planning will pay off. So, if you're one of those business owners that is considering developing a market plan that will enable you to reach your longer term objectives - or maybe have one but it is a couple of years old - here are five reasons why many consider market planning as one of the key ingredients for success.
5 reasons why you should develop a marketing plan:
1. It helps you think through your goals and values so you can align your marketing efforts.
You then can formulate marketing objectives and initiatives that help your organization achieve its mission.
For example -- your goal may be to become the leader in your area of expertise, increase profitability, or have a well-compensated and loyal employee base. Or perhaps you want to be able to give support to your local community or plan to sell your business in a few years. Whatever your objectives are, the planning process will help you see if your goals are feasible and serve as a structure for actions to move towards attaining them.
2. It helps you understand your customers and competitive situation.
Marketing plans usually include an industry overview, target market demographics, marketing objectives, and specific tactics that will be used.
3. It helps you focus.
There are many marketing tools and opportunities; it’s easy to become distracted and lose sight of your intended business goals. Having a plan acts as a compass - it will help you see where you want to go and assure you that you are heading in a direction aligned with your goals and core values.
For example -- you may have some great new ideas for your business that you’ve been wanting to try. If they are included in the planning process, you’ll be able to consider how they fit in, and the ideas won’t be forgotten or be thrown in as an afterthought.
4. It helps you establish tasks, timelines, and milestones.
A good marketing plan includes clearly defined objectives and tactics; outlining these makes it easier to identify the tasks that need to be done, who should do them, and when they need to be done. This will help you get the most out of promotions and seasonal or local events.
5. It will help make the most of your resources.
Once you know what you need to do, you can develop a budget and prioritize spending. You may also identify areas in which you’ll require financial assistance, or better yet, eliminate those activities that are costing you time and money but are not effectively driving your business towards your vision. Having a well thought out marketing plan shows you mean businesses.
Set aside some time to create a sound marketing plan for your business – you’ll be glad you did!
If you are having a hard time getting started or just need someone to help solidify your planning, Contact us for a market planning template.
* businesses with fewer than 50 employees