MARKETING FOR SME'S - HOW TO WRITE A MARKETING PLAN THAT WORKS
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 larger plans.
2) HAVE CLEAR RATIONALE
The chief rationale behind building a marketing plan is not just laying out a method of achieving the business’ 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.
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 the Creative & Managing Director of Propel Marketing & Design, as well as acting as a Brand Advisor at various client companies. For over 30 years Vincent has been helping local and national companies across the UK achieve greater commercial success while minimising the cost of doing it. Vincent has been at the heart of design and marketing in Glasgow for 30 years and. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. Now based in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire with Propel Marketing and Design he looks to continue to transform the fortunes of businesses through effective targeted marketing.
Get in touch with him on Linkedin here