Every viable business needs a marketing plan. A
marketing plan shows you how to achieve the goals you have set to grow and develop your business.
Marketing is one of the most misunderstood words in business. Marketing is more than sales, advertising, logos, promotion or processes – it is about leveraging these tactics to achieve your goals.
Marketing starts with strategy. A marketing plan considers your business and sets goals that are realistic and achievable. Marketing lets you identify new opportunities, as well as grow revenue. A marketing plan identifies potential target markets and the best methods to reach these customers. Once you understand your potential customers,
the plan will identify what tasks need to be undertaken, the budget for these activities and the outcomes to measure success.
A new logo, brochure or social-media presence is not marketing. Marketing is when the logo is used to create a brand, providing an identity that can be reinforced with brochures, websites or Twitter accounts. Marketing is created through the strategy that identifies the right communication channels, messages and visual identity to reach your target markets.
Marketing also considers how you can scale your processes and operations to accommodate future growth. There is little merit in starting a new sales campaign if you are unable to respond to these potential customers. Ensure that staff can accommodate new demand and can assist potential customers who may be unfamiliar with your products and services.
Marketing activities must be measurable and a marketing plan allows you set the outcomes you want to achieve. For example, if it recommends that a brochure reaches your target market, then the response that it generates must be measured. Likewise, measure how people navigate through your website and the items that generate the most interest. If something doesn’t work then you have the option of refining these activities to achieve the outcomes you want.
A marketing plan creates a positive return on investment so you can achieve revenue growth. Before spending money on marketing or sales, make sure you have a marketing plan that shows you how you can achieve your goals and grow your business.