When it comes to marketing a critical step is creating a plan of action. Many companies don’t have a plan because (a) they don’t know they need one, (b) they don’t have the resources to create one or (c) they are doing just fine - thank you very much - with how they are already doing their marketing.
Let me tell you why it’s important to have a marketing plan. And not just a plan, but one that’s built from a thoughtful strategic point of view and contains tactics for immediate and on-going execution.
A strategic marketing plan takes into consideration a number of factors to ensure success. This includes knowing where the company is at any given time and acknowledging where you want to go. The strategy is the steps in between to get there.
Where are you now? The company should define this with a Mission Statement that is concise and comprehensive. A SWOT assessment will also indicate a 360 degree view of the internal strengths and weaknesses, and the external opportunities and threats of a company.
Where do you want to go? This includes the corporate goals (i.e. increase profits by 15% in the next 12 months) and marketing objectives (i.e. implement public relations tactics to achieve greater brand recognition to increase sales). A Vision Statement will also provide direction.
How do we get there? This involves knowing your target marketing and how best to reach them. You’ll also need to know who the competitors are to determine your position within the industry and create a differentiating advantage. Then you can create a tactical approach within your marketing budget to achieve success.
The tactics roll out from the research and strategic direction. Itemizing specific tactics that pertain to advertising, public relations, promotions and personal selling will provide a clear idea of what to do within a given marketing budget. Creating measurable tactics gives you the opportunity to evaluate the success of your marketing strategy.
The value of a plan is having the certainty to know what you’re going to do when and within your budget. You can evaluate the tactics and adjust what’s not working. The plan is like a roadmap that takes your company into the future.
For more information about how to create your own strategic marketing plan, visit our Modules at www.ratioreports.com.