A marketing plan is an overview document to broadly guide and combine your business’s marketing communications activities throughout the year. Ideally it should be reviewed on an annual basis, or more frequently if your business operates to a shorter seasonal programme.
The plan needs to detail all key aspects to your marketing environment in order to be sure that your communications are of value, that the channels you are using are relevant and that the style you are using is appropriate. Therefore, your plan should primarily define clearly your industry situation, your competitive environment, your target market, your value proposition and your strategic alliances.
With this information detailed and agreed, it is then a simple step to outline strategies and, thus, the relevant marketing communications activities for the year ahead.
Investing in a good marketing plan is an investment in growth.
TOP 5 Reasons to get a marketing plan
- Align marketing objectives with business strategy The objectives described in the marketing plan will ideally enable you to achieve your overall business goals and help your business achieve its mission and become successful.
- Define ideas and concepts Don’t keep your marketing ideas in your head – write them down in your marketing plan and they’ll be much more likely to come to fruition.
- Keep you focused With so many marketing tools and technologies available today, it’s easy to become distracted and lose sight of your intended business goals. A well-written marketing plan can keep you focused on what you really need so that you don’t waste time on what you don’t.
- Establish tasks and timelines Marketing your business can be overwhelming. A good marketing plan lays out clearly defined objectives that make it easy to identify the tasks that need to be done, as well as the timelines necessary for completing those tasks.
- Get finance A business plan is a must if you want to obtain finance, and having a marketing plan in addition will help instill confidence in your lender that your business will succeed. In other words, it’ll show that you mean business.
So even if you’ve got a busy schedule, set aside some time to create a sound marketing plan for your business – chances are you’ll be glad you did.