According to Marketing Profs, only 66% of small businesses currently have a marketing plan. This means almost half of these smaller businesses are missing out on making sales.
No marketing plan = no sales.
However, there are three additional reasons a marketing plan is crucial to your business.
3 Reasons Why A Marketing Plan Is Important
Creating a common goal: In creating a marketing plan, you are able to clarify the business's aims, as well as map out directions and measurable objectives for marketing activity. This will allow all departments and employees to begin working towards a common goal, whilst also promoting great team work.
Developing a proactive business: Without a marketing plan, you will find your business simply reacting to external factors and what your competitors are doing. This means you will always be one step behind. In planning your year ahead, you can lead your business to being ahead of the competition to get those sales before your competitors do.
Measuring success: Creating timely objectives and milestones will allow you to measure if your business is on track and meeting its goals. This may be through sales, leads or customer satisfaction.
Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as that. Here is some information you will need in order to make your marketing plan as effective as possible.
how can i ensure the effectiveness of my marketing plan?
Knowledge on who your customer is: Information such as how they receive information, which channels they use and what their budget is will help you tailor your marketing plan and improve effectiveness.
Competitor analysis: Keeping an eye on your competitors is crucial to get ahead of the competition. This can be done through monitoring what channels they are using, understanding what they are using these for and how they are attracting customers.
Customer journey: Once you have the above information, consider how you will get your products and services into the hands of your clients. Are you getting a lot of traffic from social media? Use this to promote sales and leave links to take customers directly to your products. Are your customers more likely to contact you directly? If so, make it easy for them!
Once you have these three elements, your marketing plan will begin to write itself.
One way to ensure the effectiveness of your marketing plans is to share your ideas and challenges with non-competitive equals. Intergage hosts an event just for this occassion - The Marketing Leaders Lunch.