A great deal of marketing revolves around marketing planning. Writing down all you have learnt about your business, your customers and your competitors and how you fit into your marketplace and how you are going to make more profit from your products or services is a vital part of a successful business. Yet many businesses don’t have a formal marketing plan.
A very important part of marketing plans the journey a business should take to become more successful and more profitable. A business can make many choices. A marketing plan will be based on the best choices at the time and therefore the best path to take. It records the reasoning behind why this path was chosen and states the objectives against which the plan will be judged. The plan needs to be judged because without that judgement success can’t be measured.
Why do you need to measure success? Nobody can guarantee success. You can measure it though. If you do measure it, you’ll know which parts of the plan worked and which parts didn’t. You can adjust your plan and do more of what went right and less of what went wrong.
Marketing plans are never cast in stone, anymore than marketing strategies are. They tend to cover a period of 12 months, maximum. They should be reviewed regularly – not put into a filing cabinet never to see the light of day from one year to the next. Ideally they should be permanently on your desk, frequently referred to, creased, tea stained and dog eared. Marketing plans are working documents.
No business discipline is easy and that includes marketing. Marketing planning can be seen as quite a challenge and so it is. However it doesn’t have to be complicated. I devised the marketing plan jigsaw puzzle to make the planning process more visual and hopefully easier to put into practice. I’m going to use it at my workshop at Glyndwr University on the 6th of October. Why not come and I’ll help you solve the puzzle of marketing planning.