Why You Absolutely, Positively, 100% Must Have a Solid Marketing Plan
Have an awesome idea for a product or store? Great! But don’t even think about trying to sell it without a marketing plan.
Too many integrated marketers and start-ups
begin with a unique offering, good intentions, and then fly by the seats of their pants. No wonder 50% of new businesses don’t make it to their five-year anniversaries.
A marketing plan is a detailed blueprint for all the activities related to communications about your product, service, or company that go out to customers, potential customers, and shareholders. It starts with a deep and honest analysis of your product or business model, your likeliest customers, and where and how your offerings are sold. Here are a few of the “make or break” benefits having a sturdy marketing plan can provide.Better Maps for Your Messaging
Your customers must understand why and how your offerings fit into their lives: does your product or service solve a common problem, but use an ingenious method? Or is the appeal purely emotional? With a solid understanding of your customers and their motivations, you’ll have more insight into the kinds of messages that truly resonate with them.
This, in turn, will make it much easier to create marketing that truly lands on the mark, as well as plan a marketing mix
with the tactics that will help you get the best ROI.Track Your Marketing’s Effect
Think of your marketing as a big feedback loop: you push your marketing into the world, people respond or don’t – then you either keep churning out more or, if you’re not getting the results you want, you make changes. A solid marketing plan can help you come up with meaningful metrics
so you’re not throwing spaghetti at the wall. Understand the Market and How to Succeed
Marketing is a constantly evolving practice, which makes marketplaces dynamic, as well. This could mean that it’s not only your marketing that needs to change, but how you sell it – for your inspiration, consider how Internet-only brands Warby Parker and Dollar Shave Club, which might not have made it if they’d gone bricks and mortar first. So, What’s Next?
Integrated marketers shouldn’t be afraid of writing and then rewriting a marketing plan. If you’re not already, try attending marketing mixers and talk to people who’ve already done it themselves. You can look online, for resources that range from intensive business classes to DIY templates.