A commitment to marketing is a long-term investment in your small business. Like any good investment, it takes planning and persistence to achieve desired results. The first and most important investment in marketing should be a thoughtful, measurable marketing plan.
A business plan acts as a road map that outlines what your business is, its goals, and how it will accomplish those goals. A critical component of that business plan is your marketing plan, it outlines the activities needed to attract customers and grow the business.
It doesn't matter if you are a team of one or a corporation with a staff of 1,000, marketing is what generates sales; without sales, you can’t generate revenue, and you don’t stay in business. As important as marketing plans are, many business owners don't devote enough time or resources to them. Having a marketing plan forces you to be thoughtful about how to reach potential customers, keeps you on track thereby making your efforts more efficient and cost effective. To truly grow your company a marketing plan is essential!
Importance of a Marketing Plan
Marketing plans are important because they make sales easier. When you target your ideal customer with a strategic plan, you reduce the costs of marketing and increase the odds of converting leads into sales.
A marketing plan provides focus, enables you to manage resources effectively, and most importantly ensures consistency. It is virtually impossible to sustain the success of your business without a marketing plan. It is no coincidence that the most successful companies nail their marketing with a clear consistent plan,allocation of resources, and a budget for successful implementation of that plan.
Purpose of a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan provides the framework for how you will sell your products or services to consumers. Your product or service isn’t perfect for everyone, so the plan should target individuals who are most likely to buy. This means you need to take the time to know your target audience and how to reach them. Your marketing plan should answer these 5 key questions:
√ Who buys from you, and why?
√ What value do you offer customers?
√ What are your competitors doing?
√ What differentiates you from competitors in the space?
√ What is your message?
√ What's your budget?
The objective of a marketing plan is to write down your tactics and strategies in an organized fashion. This will help keep you on track and measure the success of your tactics. Developing a marketing plan will allow you to identify the best activities and channels to generate leads and grow and sustain your business long-term.