7 pitfalls of NOT having a marketing plan
A marketing plan is the driving force behind your sales. Without a plan, you weaken your sales efforts. Yet so many small business owners choose to jump straight into action without a plan in place – employing unplanned and inconsistent marketing activities that are as a result, ineffective and disappointing.
“I don’t have time to write a plan!” “I don’t need a plan, things are going really well just now!” “Marketing plan? I wouldn’t know where to start!” These are just some of the justifications businesses commonly give for not having a marketing plan.
But without a plan, you will experience a number of problems and challenges including:
1. A reactive approach to marketing
Taking a reactive rather than proactive approach to your marketing activities. You frequently find yourself on the back foot, reacting to marketing opportunities as they come along rather than taking a planned, controlled approach. This is never a recipe for success.
2. Missing out on great opportunities
Experiencing a multitude of missed opportunities and wrong turns. Missed journalist deadlines and costly advertising mistakes are just the tip of the iceberg with this pitfall.
3. Blowing your budget
Overspending versus budget. To generate sales you may panic and invest in an opportunity that you simply cannot afford, or perhaps you get carried away and spend your budget before the end of the year or a key selling period (or perhaps you don’t even have an agreed marketing budget!).
4. Creating poor sales materials
Unappealing sales communications that do not hit the mark with your target audience and or get the response you’d hoped for.
5. Achieving weak campaign results
Ineffective and disappointing marketing results due to sporadic and disjointed marketing activities. A well-planned, co-ordinated and timely campaign is an absolute must for success and positive return on your investment.
6. Experiencing profit loss
Loss of profit due to poor planning and missed sales opportunities.
7. Struggling with increased stress
Ineffective planning, irrelevant activities and the associated financial implications of operating in this chaotic manner, can result in very high stress levels.
Every business needs a marketing plan
These problems and challenges can easily be avoided if you have a well thought out marketing plan in place.
The role of a marketing plan is to map out all aspects of an organisation’s marketing intentions and activities for a set period of time. It is a summary document that provides an important framework to ensure that marketing activities are carried out in a controlled way, and results (and therefore profits!) maximised.
Even if you have been in business for a while without a plan, it’s a good idea to create one. You don’t have to create a mammoth document. A simple, well-thought out plan that keeps your business on track is better than no plan at all.
Do you have a marketing plan question that you’d like help with? Tweet me @MarketingVC – I’d love to hear from you!