Marketing your business today is a whole different ballgame than it was five or ten years ago. With social media sites, blogs, and other shiny new marketing concepts coming out every day – it is an exciting time to be in the marketing business. The problem with all this thrilling new growth is that it can make your business’s marketing seem sporadic.
The temptation to move on to the latest and greatest can make it so many of your marketing tasks never actually get seen through to the end. You can easily find yourself expending a lot of energy for very few results. So, what is the best way to be sure that you are doing the best, most effective marketing for your business? Simple- have a kick butt strategic marketing plan!
1. Keep your marketing efforts proactive
If you are wondering why you need a set marketing plan, why you shouldn’t just take ideas as they come and run with them –consider the growth you’re wanting to see in your business. As you likely know, in business, if you aren’t growing, you are dying – and even if your business isn’t struggling, sitting at status quo for too long can be dangerous. A smart marketing plan keeps your company’s efforts proactive and ensures that you have a clearly-set plan of “attack” to help you build and grow your business. A plan will protect your organization against the trip of impulse marketing (reacting to every new technology, marketing platform, or other opportunities), and help you define strategies. Finally, a plan can define how you will execute those strategies in a way helps you ensure the growth of your company and gives you a measurable way to track your progress.
2. A plan helps you keep the big picture in mind
A marketing plan helps you, your staff, and everyone involved in your company see exactly what your company is working towards and how. It clearly lays out what your company’s goals within a certain time frame, and helps everyone understand how those goals are going to be met. A good plan will help you and others within your company keep sight of the big picture so you don’t get lost in the weeds and you don’t miss out on opportunities.
3. A marketing plan measures your progress.
Think of your marketing plan as blueprints to help you track your marketing efforts. Use a tool like Basecamp or another online project management facilitator to help you see exactly what’s being done when and by whom. This allows you to see what’s working and what isn’t working – that way if there is a bottleneck in your company (a certain area where things just aren’t getting done or that is struggling), you will be able to address the issue and fix it before you stray too far off your task timeline.
4. A solid plan makes it easier to evaluate new opportunities
I said previously that we should avoid falling into the trap of the “new and shiny”. The never-ending effort to stay “current” can often lead you off task, blurring your vision of the original goal. However, that isn’t to say that all new ideas and technology are bad. When you already have a stable marketing plan in place, with clearly defined strategies and goals – it is easy to take a new idea as it comes along, and evaluate how it would fit in with your current plan. If it is something that is easily integrated and would benefit the plan, then it can be greatly beneficial to include it. At the same time, you may realize that putting the bulk of your efforts into implementing some new marketing strategy may not be right for your company and may distract you from your overall goals.
5. A plan gives you confidence
All companies have ups and downs. When you are up, you feel invincible. But, when you’re down, it’s easy to feel like things will never get better. The best way to pull you and your company out of one of these slumps is… you guessed it – a great marketing plan! Sometimes, just the simple act of getting some aggressive ideas down on paper can be enough to get your bottom line headed in the right direction. A good plan will guide you through the bad times and help you stay on track during the good times. It will confirm your direction, provide insight into your situation and remind you of where you’re heading. It will give you the confidence to stay strong when things seem tough.
There are several other reasons that a marketing plan can benefit you, we only had room to list a few here. If you need help getting a stellar plan in place – reach out to us! We would be more than happy to help you map out a plan to help take your business to the next level of success.