As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Whether your firm’s marketing plan is a simple 1- or 2-pager or a formal 27-page document with charts and graphs, the important thing is to have one. Why? Because your marketing plan is your roadmap for success. Without one you’re just “hoping for the best.”
|8 EXPERT TIPS FOR DEVELOPING A MARKETING PLAN
If you have not already done so, it’s time to create your marketing plan for the coming year. Here are 8 tips for getting the job done:
- Start with an assessment of past programs – What worked and what did not? Which programs would you like to continue, and which should be ditched? Do any of your current marketing materials need to be updated or replaced?
- Create clearly defined marketing goals – Your goals should be driven by actual customer needs and values, as well as your business’ overall goals and plans. Be sure that your marketing goals are all specific, measurable, actionable and achievable.
- Determine your overall strategies – These are your high-level ideas regarding how you will reach your goals and promote your products or services to your target audiences.
- Choose your marketing tactics – These are the actions you take to execute the strategy. For example, if your strategy is to become the go-to expert in your field, your marketing tactics might include blogging, creating informational podcasts or videos, speaking at industry events and hosting webinars.
- Include a realistic working calendar – This will help you pace yourself. Include start dates, due dates and responsibilities, always keeping your business’ “busy season” in mind.
- Create a method for tracking results – You’ll need accurate data in order to evaluate the success of your marketing programs.
- Keep your marketing plan front and center – Avoid losing focus on your marketing programs by keeping your plan visible. Write monthly action items on a white board. Put your plans on your calendar. Add it to the agenda for your regular staff meeting.
- Plan on revising your marketing plan regularly – A marketing plan is a working document. If something isn’t working or if new opportunities arise, you’ll need to revise the plan accordingly.