Marketing planning is important and following the marketing plan is often a guarantee for success. The existence of a marketing plan presumes that preliminary research of the opportunities, customers, competitors, and markets has been made, as well as that the risks have been minimized, all of which is useful.
In reality, though, the situation is quite different - most of the companies (both large and small) do not have marketing plans - they don't bother with this "inconvenience" and rely on improvisation. They choose to function chaotically and to hire different agencies for each of their advertising campaigns. They also choose not to invest in additional staff, know-how, time, etc.
The businesses which still choose to allocate resources on the making of a marketing plan, often ignore that plan later in the work process. Something unexpected comes up, they delay the next step for "later" without any real reason for that or they simply think that there is no point in following the marketing plan. The company continues to function without a strategy for the future.
Even though it may seem complicated and tedious to you, our advice is - if you own or manage a business, plan your marketing. Success does not come to those who act in a chaotic way and without a strategy.
What can you do to have a perfect marketing plan - detailed and highly useful? You will find several practical ideas about that in the list below.
1.Make a marketing plan! By this, we mean that it is commendable to reach the decision that you need to have such a plan. Take into account the history of the company up to this point - its advantages, weaknesses, and goals. Write them down. Break them down into subsections. You are bound to come up with ideas about the future, the work process, the marketing, etc., - write them down too. Very soon you will realize how useful this process and its results are.
2. When you are making the marketing plan of your company, get to know your customers – both the real ones and the potential ones. Many managers or business owners have trouble describing even their current customers. The reason is that they have never thought about this and have never made an analysis and assessment of the issue. Well, now you have a reason to do it. This analysis will be extremely useful for the plan.
Think unconventionally about your customers. Don't think about what you can offer them - think about what they want. Who are they? How do they think? What jobs do they have? How old are they? Where do they live? What media do they use? Are they influenced by advertising at all? What kind of advertising? There are countless questions, finding answers to them could be the first stage of the marketing plan.
3. Be emotional! No, you don't need to cry or beg heartbreakingly. J That is not what we mean by this. After you are finished with the analysis of your customers, which we explained in point 2, think about what kind of an emotional experience you might be able to offer them. What would "captivate", impress, amaze or move them? What would make them buy from you, like you, come back to you? What would they want to tell their friends about you? Integrate all of this into the marketing plan of the company.
4. The Internet medium is one of the leading marketing channels through which companies reach their customers nowadays. That is why you should have a presence on the Internet and make the most of it - create a company site and/or an online store, use a CRM system. You should have a presence in social media too - your customers use at least one of them. If you don't have the opportunity or the desire to have a presence everywhere, choose your priorities. Write this in the plan too.
If you follow those guidelines, your marketing plan will not be just banal "empty" words - it would be full of useful ideas, thoughts, and points. They will be useful only to you and apply exactly to you! Do not neglect marketing planning!