Your marketing isn’t working because you don’t have a plan

If I ask you, “What is your marketing plan?” and you respond with, “I post on social media a few times per week and depend on customer referrals,” then I’m glad you stumbled upon this post.

Every Small Business needs a WRITTEN Marketing Plan

 

Your marketing plan is NOT posting updates on social media. Social Media is an element in the online marketing channel of your marketing plan, but it is not your entire plan. A plan is just that… a PLAN to engage your business with consumers in a given marketplace.

It takes both the understanding of “marketing” and “market research” to establish an actual plan.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines Marketing as the “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Entrepreneur.com defines Marketing Research as The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service.”

So in a nutshell, your marketing plan is a written plan that establishes the process for communicating to your target customer within your industry.

Don’t fret. You are not alone.

Most small businesses do not have a formal and detailed marketing plan. I’m not sure if that is because the concept feels overwhelming or because it doesn’t seem important enough for a small-sized business. Let me assure you that writing down your marketing plan is vital to conquering your market share in the industry and necessary if you want healthy, long-lasting growth.

A formal marketing plan consists of the following:

Executive Summary: Basic overview of the company and market goals

Situational Analysis: Current situation of the company as it relates to the industry

SWOT Analysis: Comparison of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

Marketing Mix: Often called the 4 P’s of Marketing because it includes a description of the Product, Price, Promotion, and Place

Marketing Channels: Pathways to communicating to your target audience

Marketing Budget & Projections: The cost of communicating your business to your target audience plus the return benefit on the investment cost

Here are TEN reasons why every small business should have a written marketing plan:

  1. A marketing plan is one large section in your Business Plan (No BP? Get the hardest part over – start with the marketing plan!)
  2. It will walk you through important questions that will force you to determine the answers to many daily challenges, thus making your decision process easier
  3. It will force you to analysis your business concept and identify your niche
  4. It will force you to determine IF your business has a need in the current market
  5. It will identify your strengths and weaknesses… which will honestly get you focused
  6. It will help you identify your competitors and the challenges of your industry
  7. It will force you to differentiate yourself from your competitors
  8. It will force you to label your target audience/demographic… thus helping you pick the right marketing channels for your business to succeed
  9. It will give you tasks and timelines
  10. It will force you to set goals for your business (How will you achieve anything if you never set a goal?)

Write your Marketing Plan’s Executive Summary in 10-minutes or less!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.