BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS
Planning to Win
You’ve heard it over and over. “If you fail to plan you’re planning to fail.” But it’s true. The problem is, planning takes time… and it may not seem like you’re doing anything productive. You’re not in front of the customer; you’re not making your product, or providing your service.
I’m too small!
Big or small, every company needs a marketing plan to have the best chance of surviving and thriving in today’s fast-changing, competitive marketplace. So while it might be tempting to think you’re too small, or too busy, or too “edgy” (“I go with the flow”) to have a marketing plan, we can tell you five benefits of having a marketing plan, and we insist that you need one. In fact, the best analogy is to think of trying to build a house or a shopping center or a bridge without a blueprint. Probably none would work, right?
Marketing Plan Elements
A marketing plan has several key elements, and if you did not do the analysis before you started your business, or if you are in a large company, and have not recently completed a marketing plan, the research to complete the plan will prove valuable no matter what the size of your company. VERY briefly, the top-level components of a Marketing Plan include the following:
- Marketing Situation: Your product/services, your locale, your competitors, target audiences, etc.
- “SWOT” analysis: What are you Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats?
- Marketing Objectives: What are your plans and what specific resources (employees, money, time, etc.) will you need to achieve them? Plans need hard figures: percentages, dollars, dates, etc.
- Budgets and Controls: Have a plan for measuring your progress against your goals so you’ll know if you’ve achieved your goals, or if you need to regroup, or celebrate!
- Executive Summary: The first page of your marketing plan gives an overview of the four other components of your plan. It helps you stay focused at the top, with the details behind it.
The five key benefits of a marketing plan to your business
- A marketing plan makes sense of your business environment, and provides a rallying point for your troops… or for yourself. It forces you to think about your company outside of the vacuum of your head, and instead as a part of the industry that you’re a part of.
- A marketing plan enables clear decision-making through captured thinking. You’re not keeping everything in your head. You and your team see your products and services from above the page, as it were. Having a written plan lets you be an “outsider,” maybe even a customer (?), looking in at your business. What do you see? Do you like your products? Is your customer service great, or so-so?
- A marketing plan integrates long term planning and short-term strategic actions, and may set the stage for creating an operating document that guides many of the activities for you and your employees.
- A marketing plan prevents panic decisions, reactionary spending, and hard-to-resist derailments from your forward progress.
- A marketing plan is a working document with the advantage of top-level thinking to navigate the treacherous waters of modern day business.
What makes it a Strategic Marketing Plan?
We believe in Marketing Plans, a close relative to the business plan, but with more executable steps. The Strategic Marketing Plan carries more intention. It has more forward momentum, and greater thrust. A blueprint tells you where the plumbing will go, how many rooms you’ll have, how big the back yard will be, how the kitchen is laid out. The architect sketches the foundation, and the frame; he designates walls, doors and windows. He specifies materials from top to bottom. Anyone picking up the drawings can construct that building. Your marketing plan should do the same thing. Your Strategic Marketing Plan may look more like the Eiffel Tower. Maybe it’s a very cool bridge, like the Brooklyn Bridge.
It should inspire.
We’ll help you “draw” one, knowing it will add to your success.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN OUR MARKETING SERVICES…
Whether you want to rebuild your existing brand or your website, or both, we’re your GO-TO company, and we can help. From discovering your unique selling proposition through branding, and on to your website and beyond, we we’ll make sure we know you and your goals. We are not here to check the boxes. We succeed if you succeed over the long haul. It’s that simple.
Take a look at our website, see our list of clients, and then then contact us. We’d love to inspire you.