What Marketing Plan?

You’ve no doubt heard the old saying “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of business owners who are frustrated with the amount of money they’re spending on, say, advertising… or a website which cost a fortune but isn’t producing results… or any number of other hair-pulling, cash-sucking albatrosses.

Yet, sometimes when I ask about the existing marketing plan and how a particular advertising campaign fits into that plan, I get a blank stare and “What marketing plan?”

Can you see the problem here?

 

The Way It’s Done in the “Real” World

Contrary to the popularly-held corporate framework – i.e. what’s taught on university Marketing courses and at business school – a Marketing Plan does NOT have to be a hugely elaborate, 250-page document beginning with a history of the company, followed by a full breakdown of product lines, and then… blah blah blah blah blah. That’s pure ego. And outright masochism, frankly. Not to mention a stupendous waste of resources.

You can produce a perfectly good marketing plan in a 70 cent notebook from your local newsagency.

When you take the time to create a solid marketing strategy and actually put it down on paper in a structured plan of attack, you get an incredible sense of clarity and direction. You stop chasing shiny objects and, instead, start focusing on the things that matter; things that will have a long-term positive effect on increasing sales and profits for your business.

Secret Ninja Tricks for Writing a Marketing Plan

Everybody wants to be a freakin’ ninja. Well, there ain’t no secret tricks involved, really. It’s basically just:

  • clarify your goals
  • decide on the most effective and appropriate strategies to achieve those goals
  • break down those strategies into a step-by-step plan of action
  • bang through those steps collecting feedback as you go and adjusting course, as necessary.

You need a blueprint for how you’re going to attract people interested in what you offer, filter out the people who aren’t a “best match”, convince the remaining people that your solution really is the best one for them, facilitate the sale (including implementation and support where required), and get repeat business and referrals from your delighted customers or clients.

Grossly oversimplified, of course, but that’s the gist of it. Your marketing plan is just a “roadmap” for exactly how you plan to do it. It’s what makes sure you get to your destination in good time.

All the best,
Leslie


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