Most entrepreneurs and directors I know are highly ambitious and thrive on growing their companies and teams of talented people around them.
Yet having an up-to-date marketing plan is often not high enough on their agendas.
Without a dynamic marketing plan, businesses are likely to miss out on exciting opportunities and emerging trends.
Being German, I’m a bit of a natural ‘super planner’, but in today’s fast-moving and highly competitive business environment no one can take chances with their marketing planning.
Here are my 7 reasons why you should start to develop your marketing plan TODAY.
Planning ahead makes you more successful
A marketing plan is a roadmap to success. It is a blueprint for communicating with all your stakeholders about your marketing objectives and the strategies you plan to achieve them.
By helping you plan ahead for your marketing, Lollipop Social puts achievable and measurable strategies and tactics in place for accelerating your business’s growth.
My business coaches Andrew and Pete’s motto is “Don’t just wait for success to happen, schedule it in”. Scheduling your marketing is an essential part of its success.
It will help you to focus, assess risks and pinpoint opportunities
Planning will make you reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and define how, as a business, you plan to overcome these or take advantage of new opportunities.
This in turn gives you priorities. No marketing budget is unlimited, and the more you focus on the REAL priorities, the better shape your business will be in.
It’s a real skill to say no to the ideas that sound exciting but are unlikely to significantly contribute to your marketing goals. With a marketing plan, it’s much easier to make the right call.
Planning will prompt you to get to know your target market
Planning will take you away from the day-to-day running of the business. It gives you permission to switch off your email notifications and to ask yourself and your team some pertinent questions:
· Who are our ideal customers?
· Why do they use our product/services?
· What are their challenges, interests and likes?
· How do they like to be communicated with?
· What social channels do they use?
· What messages resonate with them?
This customer intelligence will allow you to create powerful customer personas, which will shape your marketing strategy.
a marketing plan will supercharge your competitor research
The planning process will prompt you to identify and to review your competitors. It is essential that you know your competitive landscape inside out:
· What are your competitors doing well?
· Where are their weaknesses?
· How do they serve the needs of your target customers?
Armed with this knowledge, you will better understand where you fit into the market and how to create your niche. A good marketing plan will offer you a pragmatic framework for capturing this valuable information and make it accessible.
A plan will help you to engage your team with your vision
Marketing is everyone’s job, but without a well-thought-out plan you can’t rally your team behind what you set out to achieve.
Creating a marketing plan doesn’t need to be a complicated and boring process. Be creative, and reach out to your team and customers and involve them in this vital planning exercise.
Make the launch of the plan an experience to enthuse your teams. Present your strategy with an engaging message so everyone in the team feels inspired and empowered to deliver your marketing plan.
It allows you to measure success and refine your activities
By the very nature of planning, budgets, performance targets and timed delivery plans will be included. As you move through the year, these will allow you to keep on track, measure your marketing performance and adjust your strategies for achieving the best possible return on investment.
Pinpoint what IS needed to grow your business
A marketing plan will help you identify what activities you can deliver internally and where you need to boost skills and resources by outsourcing.
Without measurable marketing goals and a plan for achieving them, it’s much harder to secure the right budget for your marketing drive and team development.
A lack of budget is often a barrier for investing in powerful marketing growth tools such as PR and social media. Having a marketing plan will hopefully help you make a more convincing business case for securing additional investment.
If the thought of creating a marketing plan for your business fills you with dread, Lollipop Social enjoys working with ambitious entrepreneurs to review and develop results-driven marketing plans.
Whether you need a plan to present to your board of investors or a pragmatic blueprint for supercharging your internal marketing delivery – it all starts with careful planning homework. Get in touch to see how we can help.