Updated: Feb 10
Less than twenty percent of all businesses prepare effective marketing plans. This statistic is horrifying to me as a professional marketer, because I know the benefits of having a well researched and planned marketing program in support of a business.
A great marketing plan consists of knowledge of customers, markets, competitors and your own business, which is then applied to develop a workable and effective communication program that generates interest, reaches, leads and sales for your business.
You wouldn't build a house without a plan, so how do you think building a business will go without one?
Business failure rates are very high, and through our research, we know that this comes down to one of two major reasons - money or marketing.
And often the money problems come from poor marketing, so for me, it's all about getting the marketing right for your business.
In this article, I share over three decades of experience in strategic marketing to give you some key elements of an effective - no kick ass - marketing plan!
First up you need to know your customer. This takes two key steps - deciding who your best customer is, and then understanding their needs and wants in relation to your product or service.
When you know what people are looking for, where they are looking, how they make decisions about your type of product, and what elements are important to them, your marketing becomes that much easier because it can be aligned to customer.
You also need to know about your market and the competitors. This can be done through market research.
Finally, you have to know yourself - what are you good at? what do you suck at? how does your product and service compare to the competition.
This establishes the best market position for your product and service in terms of price, service and many other factors.
Armed with knowledge of your market, customers, competitors and yourself, you can then decide on a market position, marketing messages, marketing resources and marketing channels(or the place you communicate your marketing messages - TV, Radio, Social Media, Sponsorship etc)
Choosing a mix of various marketing activities that are well informed by research and measuring them for effectiveness then completes the perfect marketing system.
A marketing plan without any of these factors falls short of being a kick ass plan. I should know, I've probably written a thousand plans in the last thirty years, and helped our clients to over $2billion in revenue growth.
Enjoy the journey and if you need some further help, read one of my books, or engage us to write your marketing plan for you.