Many small business owners believe that marketing plans are only for the big players. They assume that because their budget is limited, they don’t need to put the time and effort into developing a plan. This mistaken belief can cost a business dearly.
A marketing plan creates the conditions for success by helping you:
The process of developing a marketing plan is invaluable because it forces business owners to really think about their objectives and refine their message. Writing a plan requires a solid understanding of target markets, strategies and social media platforms. For those dipping their toe in the marketing pool for the first time, it provides a framework for learning the fundamentals. A plan ensures that the businesses image and objectives are aligned, and sets specific goals to achieve. Without this foundation, it’s easy to waste time and money on approaches that provide few benefits.
Make Better Decisions
A well-researched marketing plan will give you the information to make better decisions in all areas of your business. It requires you to analyse your resources, customers and competitors while also weighing up the wider issues affecting the marketplace. As a result, you will be well prepared for challenges and changes ahead.
Timing is one of the key considerations in marketing. Advertisements, promotions and posts need to be launched at certain intervals to gain maximum exposure with target markets. It’s also important to follow-up on promotions to get the most from your budget. A marketing plan is of great assistance in developing a schedule for launching materials. Its detailed information allows you to create promotions across different channels that complement each other, and ensures you capitalise on holidays and other events.
Evaluate and Learn from Results
By creating a marketing plan, you’ll not only be far more likely to follow through with your ideas, you’ll also be able to track how well they worked. A marketing plan makes it easier to review and evaluate your results in a systematic way because you’ve already documented all the platforms and strategies you are using. You can decide what information you want to collect from each platform when creating the plan, and make use of new tracking tools as they become available to gain deeper insights into what is working. This information can then be used to refine your marketing plan further.
Remember, a marketing plan is a work-in-progress that will continue to evolve with your business.
Even a simple marketing plan can have a significant impact on your business.