A marketing plan is needed by all businesses, no matter what size they are. A marketing plan will help the business to promote itself and grow. A well structured marketing plan will outline how you position your business in the market, who your customers are, how you will reach them as well as outlining what your marketing goals and objectives are, what your marketing budget is and how you will evaluate its success.
A well thought out marketing plan will align with your business plan and business goals. It will also help you to ensure that resources are used effectively.
Here are five reasons why you need a marketing plan for your business:
- A marketing plan helps you to get clear on who your target audience is.
When you sit down to put together a marketing plan for your business, a lot of time will be spent on getting clear on who your target audience is. If you don’t know who your are targeting it makes it very hard to reach them with your advertising and promotions. Spending time identifying your target audience and knowing where they spend their time and how you can best reach them is crucial to your marketing success
Being clear on your target audience and how to reach them will ensure a better return on investment for your marketing budget.
- A marketing plan enables clear decision-making.
Having a marketing plan in place means that you will be aware of the current business environment and what may happen in the future. You will have a blueprint for your marketing activities and an action plan to follow, so you will be well-placed when making decisions about your business and marketing it.
Questions that would have once been considered on an ad hoc basis will become much easier to answer with a clear marketing plan with objectives, timeframes, budgets and evaluation measures.
- A marketing plan makes it easy to promote and grow your business.
Without a marketing plan in place it is very hard to know where to spend money promoting your business. It is also very easy to say yes to advertise opportunities that are presented to you that sound like the right fit for your business. If you don’t have a clear, concise marketing plan it is very easy to spend money in the wrong areas, resulting in a low return on investment.
A marketing plan will outline where you are, the current market situation, how you are going to promote the business and how you will measure the success of marketing activities. Without this considered plan it is very difficult to promote and grow your business.
- A marketing plan will ensure that you get the most our of your marketing budget
One of the crucial elements of a marketing plan is the budget. This will outline what budget you have to spend and when you plan to spend it during a twelve month period.
When you take the time to think about the budget and what you plan to spend on what channels and when, it makes it very easy to say ‘no’ when presented with promotional opportunities that don’t fit in with your marketing plan.
- A marketing plan can focus on the short time as well as long term planning.
When planning your marketing activities, it is important to think ahead and plan for at least five years. Having a think about the future landscape of the business will help position you in a good place if any changes are to occur in your business or industry.
I would recommend a twelve month schedule of marketing activity that sits within your five year plan and updated on a regular basis. Having a twelve month schedule of marketing activity to support your business will ensure that you are not only promoting and growing your business but you will also be taking steps towards your five year marketing plan.
The key thing to remember is that a marketing plan is a working document. You will constantly need to review, tweak and modify your plan as you continue to evaluate the results of various marketing activities.
If you need help developing a marketing plan for your business, Sarah can help. Sarah thrives on learning how your business works, identifying your target audience and developing a plan with the best ways to reach them. Sarah believes that it is crucial to invest the time to understand your business to deliver creative marketing solutions for you. Working with Sarah means that you can focus on what you do best and leave the marketing in her capable hands.
Contact her today to find out how she can help.