Have you ever tried to plan a road trip to a new destination without a map? It’s a little tough if you don’t know where you’re going, or even which direction to head in. It’s the same for your business. You need to know the plan for your company — and that includes marketing.
A marketing plan is a road map for growing your business. And if you’re a small business or a start-up, you need to plan your marketing strategy. You don’t have the money to throw at various marketing endeavors. You need to plan where you’ll spend your marketing money.
Still not sure it’s right for you? A marketing plan will also help you focus your business. When you write it, you’ll take a look at where your company is currently:
- how it’s performing in the market
- who your customers are
- who you’re competing with
- what’s happening in the larger market
By analyzing these pieces, you can better plan where you want to be in the next six or twelve months.
Many small businesses forgo really studying what they’re up against, what’s working in the market and what isn’t. They try various forms of marketing because their competitors are or it’s the way their business or product has always been marketed. But by truly studying the market, you may find an angle or a niche that no one has tried.
Where you spend your marketing money matters. Set a strategy and the details that support your strategy. And then, think about how you’ll measure its effectiveness. What are your sales projections after a marketing program? And how long will you give it to work? And what will make it a success in your eyes? Your marketing plan will help you understand your entire business better. And that knowledge will help you succeed.
As a small business owner, I’ve debated about a marketing plan. But after thinking about it and doing research on the subject, I know it will benefit me. In my head, I know what marketing steps I need to take. But by putting it on paper, I’ll be more likely to stick to it. I will let you know how it goes. What about you — have you written your marketing plan yet?