Developing your marketing plan for the year doesn’t have to be a difficult, yet it is something many businesses avoid setting up. Having an effective marketing plan definitely improves business outcomes. So what is getting in the way of businesses to develop one?
- You haven’t got a current business plan!
Without a business plan or at least an idea of where your business is heading, it’s pretty tricky to develop a strategic marketing plan. A marketing plan is the ‘how to’ of a business plan. It’s the roadmap to getting the sales you need in order to achieve your business goals. If you are not clear on what your business wants to achieve then the direction your marketing should take isn’t clear as well.
Action: Take 15 minutes to think about what you’d like your business to achieve in the next 12 months.
- You don’t plan to plan!
If it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t happen! You may have the best intentions of doing something like catching up for coffee with a friend, but if time is not allocated, or it’s not in the diary, it is less likely to happen. The same goes for developing your marketing plan. You need to schedule the time. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. It just needs to be time well spent. This is something AP Marketing Works has been developing to reduce the amount of time required to develop a constructive marketing plan. It requires less than a day. Good times for marketing planning include: End of financial year in preparation for the next year, end of the calendar year, end of a season, or even on a monthly-basis, if your business is in a constantly changing environment.
Action: Mark a date in the calendar now to develop your marketing plan.
- You do the same marketing every year!
If your marketing is working for you and your business is growing to your desired result, then stick with it. If your profitability is not what you would like, or you need more sales, or your markets have changed, you definitely need to change your marketing plan. A good marketing plan will deliver results to your business. If it’s not, then the plan might be out of date for what you’re trying to achieve. COVID-19 brought about and continues to bring about changes to customers, businesses and global markets. I would challenge any business that hasn’t made some changes to their marketing during this time.
Action: Review your results against the goals you originally set.
- You don’t know how to do one!
A good marketing plan is a roadmap for how you are going to achieve sales in your business. It is more than just a document. It should identify marketing activities as well as your overall marketing strategy. If you are having trouble with developing your marketing strategy, then you will struggle developing a marketing plan. Most marketing plans are created with the input of Marketing Professionals who have training and experience in this area. Afterall you wouldn’t expect to write up your own contract if you were selling your own house! It’s time to get some help if you can’t do it on your own.
Action: Seek out a marketing workshop or professional who can assist you.
- You like to do, rather than plan!
Many small business owners like to take action and that’s one of the reasons they are successful. A plan on its own doesn’t work, it does need to be implemented. However, action on its own can be ad hoc and inefficient. How do you know the action you are taking is the best action to take? Without a plan you learn by your mistakes, and with a plan you make less mistakes. Just like making a to do list for the day, a marketing plan can provide focus and saves you time by keeping you to tasks that will make a difference to your business.
Action: Take the most important action and plan your marketing.
If you would like to get your marketing plan sorted in one day this limited workshop may be for you.