Marketing plan - What's the alternative?

integrated marketing diagram, the foundation of a marketing plan

Operating without a marketing plan can put huge pressure's on a business. Resulting in a stressful reactive environment that prematurely depletes budgets, makes it difficult to determine ROI and often produces off-brand messaging.

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The alternative to a marketing plan

Imagine you are about to go on an extended year long adventure. Without packing your bag, filling your wallet with cash and planning your itinerary, you grab your car keys and head off into uncertainty. That’s how many small companies plan their marketing - you can probably imagine the results.

A marketing plan ensures that you have what you need when you need it, that you always know where you are, that you reach the best places and that you've always got enough money to get to where you want to be.

The marketing plan

From building awareness right on through to creating happy, loyal customers, a well-contrived marketing plan will support the objectives laid out in your business plan and will create a proactive rather than reactive marketing environment that's focused on controlling your budget and maximising customer reach potential.

The process developing a marketing plan helps:

  • Organize and distribute costs and maintain momentum throughout the entire sales process (see diagram above)
  • Prevent unexpected, unplanned pressures on the budget
  • Ensure marketing budget is sustainable throughout the entire year
  • Encourage an annual evaluation process to weed out waste
  • Encourage an analysis of competitive threats
  • Establish an annual marketing direction
  • Leverage messaging themes to produce consistent branding
  • Makes it easier to develop subsequent market plans

Basic steps to creating an effective marketing plan:

  • Determine a budget (typically .5 - 3% forecast revenue)
  • Research and analyze the target market and competition
  • List, analyze and estimate costs for practical/preferred marketing and sales support opportunities
  • Evaluate and prioritize potential opportunities, keep metrics in mind
  • Determine the costs of plan, adjust to your budget
  • Schedule proposed tactics and collateral requirements

Need to grow your business and your brand? Fed up with anxieties related to marketing dysfunction? Time for a marketing plan!

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