Every day is a good day for marketing planning.
Yes, because a well-thought-out marketing plan will help you to win new business and customers, to get more investments if you need them, and to have your team more aligned and committed to your goals.
I remember the first “big” marketing plan I had to write for a business I was responsible for.
It scared the heck out of me!
Why? Because the stakes were high.
I had to develop one that convinced senior management that my business was worth investing in as much as I did AND it had to deliver results for the following year.
Some people think of their marketing plan as scheduling a bunch of tweets, posts, etc. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It goes way beyond this to help you develop a plan that will enable you to compete to win.
I frame my thinking around competition a lot. I know some people don’t like to think they are going against something or someone else—either because they believe they are totally unique or because it sounds crass.
But remember that you are always competing for a customer’s wallet. Most people have a limit on what they are going to spend, period. So, they will be making choices… A or B.
Therefore, it is wise to understand what others are providing your target market. You are then better able to craft a plan that offers a better solution. At the end of the day, you want a larger share of that wallet going to you.
We know you’re busy running your business or you’re busy conceiving the details of your new venture.
So why should you spend time doing a marketing plan?
- It gets you to think through, in a disciplined and fact-based way, how best to position and sell your brand in the marketplace.
- It forces you to think about your brand within the context of the competition.
- It forces you to think deeply about the requirements of your customers and prospects and how your brand helps to meet what they need.
- It forces you to quantify your goals and how to reach them with confidence.
- It makes you think about the choices you have to promote your brand within your budget.
- It forces you to plan in detail, which increases your chance of success.
The result of your marketing planning defines your strategy (the big picture) and the tactical elements (detailed plans) to support its success. It is a great way to stay focused on what you need to implement in a coordinated and integrated way.
We recommend doing a plan for about 12 months, but it could be a bit longer or shorter time frame depending on the nature of your business.
Online Business Foundations 101
In this course, you’ll develop basic literacy in the language of business, which you can use to start or grow your own small business.
Starting an online business can be fun and exciting. It can also be scary and confusing! The first step is to decide on a business–and this may be the hardest part, since there are so many to choose from.
We’ll provide plenty of templates to help you through each section!
Miriam Vializ-Briggs is a marketing consultant with 25+ years of marketing strategy and execution experience, garnered as an executive at IBM, American Express and Kraft General Foods. She has created solutions and marketing strategies in a number of industries including banking, biotech, packaged goods, energy, healthcare, industrial, insurance, restaurants, retail, and travel & entertainment.