HOW TO WRITE A MARKETING PLAN THAT WORKS - MARKETING FOR SME'S
It goes without saying that every business needs a plan for its marketing operation. After all, how can you get where you want to go if you don’t know how you’re going to get there? Unfortunately, it is very easy to get lost along the way, to go off on needless tangents that deflect focus away from your real objectives.
1) HAVE CLEAR STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
It is important to identify and define strategic initiatives because a business can only focus on three or four objectives a year. You should determine exactly how and why these initiatives fit into your company’s long-term plans.
2) HAVE CLEAR RATIONALE
The chief rationale behind building a marketing plan is not just laying out a method of achieving the business’s objectives, but to gain support. A plan will only succeed if people believe in it.
3) HAVE CROSS-FUNCTIONAL INVOLVEMENT
All marketing plans should secure cross-functional involvement from across the board. A marketing department cannot devise a plan for the business in isolation. You should always keep a general management perspective in mind.
4) BE FINANCIALLY ORIENTATED
Always link your plans to the practical, profit-oriented realities of the business. You should liaise directly with the finance department. After all, the only real impetus to do marketing is to foster sales and, in turn, profits.
+1 BONUS TIP: AVOID EXTENSIVE DATA ANALYSIS
Endless irrelevant data analysis is one of the worst offenders when it comes to formulating a productive marketing plan.
A good marketing plan is all about practical recommendations and solutions. You should always ask yourself specific questions based on the practical needs of your customer. Focus on people, not data.
There is no real secret to creating a good marketing plan apart from some common sense and good, clear and focused preparation. Simply laying out the objectives of your business, the strategic initiatives, and the tactics that will be used to achieve this is enough. In this case, the more streamlined and direct the plan, the better.
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About the author: Vincent Bissette is a freelance Brand Strategy and Design Consultant with over 30 years experience of branding and rebranding businesses and organisations, systematically, thoroughly and objectively. He has worked in major Design Consultancies as well as having run his own agency for 25 years, working with SMEs all over the UK to help them modernise their brand, grow their business, attract new customers, penetrate new markets and increase their sales, market share and profit. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. He’s a creative, strategic thinker and problem solver with a wealth of experience in diagnosing trouble spots in brands and discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now based in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he works throughout the entire UK.
Get in touch with him on Linkedin here