Before we begin let us first lay the foundation by answering the question, what is a marketing plan?
Every business utilizes marketing in different ways to engage their target market. A Marketing Plan is a comprehensive document that outlines your overall marketing efforts, including external and internal marketing, budget, and goals. A Marketing Plan is a blueprint that outlines how your business will implement a marketing strategy to achieve business objectives including sales targets or customer acquisition.
While a business marketing plan cannot guarantee success, it can make the difference between success and failure.
Here are 4 reasons your business needs a marketing plan.
Reason 1 – A Marketing Plan Maximizes your Marketing Budget and ROI
We all know when we go to the store and browse we tend to overspend, compared to going to the store with a list and a plan on what we need to get.
If you are spending on marketing because you heard your business needs this, and you read that your business needs that, and someone approached you about social media assistance so now you are paying for that to… you ARE NOT making educated decisions, creating accountability between you and your vendors, and have no way of evaluating what is working and what isn’t.
A component of a marketing plan involves setting a marketing budget. According to the U.S. Small Business Administrator, startups and small businesses should plan to spend about 7% to 8% of their gross revenue on marketing and advertising. If profit is falling below $5 million annually, the U.S. Small Business Administration suggests bumping marketing spend up to 10% to 12% of gross revenue. However, setting a marketing budget involves more than calculating a percentage of your gross revenue.
Your marketing budget should take into account all aspects of your business, including internal and external marketing, print and digital marketing, the launching of new products or services, customer service, client retention, and more! Writing down each key component of your marketing will help you see the full picture of your efforts and ensure you are not neglecting any key investments into your business’s marketing.
Reason 2 – Marketing Strategy
Have you heard of the ‘purple cow’ by Seth Godin, a famous American entrepreneur, marketer, author, and public speaker? Shortly, you want your business to be a “Purple Cow”, which means being unique and remarkable in a world of homogenous competitors. Without getting outside the box, you will always struggle to get noticed. The other element that is emphasized is that you need to milk the Purple Cow once it is “discovered”, and begin looking for the next one. Nothing remains remarkable forever – and innovation and transformation are keys to growth and success long-term. A great reminder that good isn’t good enough, that success must be followed by renewed innovation, and that remarkable eventually becomes ordinary as the bar rises and others copy.
We say all this to not only emphasize the need for marketing, but for marketing strategy. Becoming a purple cow takes a strategy that includes researching your competitors on their past and current efforts, and using this information to further set yourself apart. This strategy will take a while to develop, and could include A/B testing, brand development, analyzing your customer journey, etc.
Reason 3 – Being Proactive Instead of Reactive
A strategic marketing plan helps you to identify new trends, avoid potential threats, and capitalize on future opportunities. Through brainstorming, innovation, and creativity your business will be able to discover and implement marketing in a proactive manner rather than being reactive and constantly having to pivot every time a change occurs.
Reason 4 – Creating Consistency
A marketing plan also increases the consistency of your branding and messaging. When we help our clients with their marketing plans, we create campaigns surrounding business goals focused on reaching their target market through consistent messaging, branding, and look and feel. This helps your marketing better resonate with your customers, and hopefully keep your brand top of mind!