If you've been squeaking by without a marketing plan or have been using the same plan for more than a year, this post is for you! Following are six "myths" about marketing plans.
Myth #1 I don't need a marketing plan.
Every business needs a marketing plan! Marketing plans are to businesses what blueprints are to architects. Marketing plans provide a road map for achieving your goals. They help guide your decisions in allocating your budget dollars. When opportunities arise, you have your marketing plan to consult to determine if it helps you achieve your goals or takes you off-track.
Myth #2 My business is too small.
No business is too small to have a well thought-out marketing plan. In fact, the smaller you are, the more crucial it is as your resources are more precious.
Myth #3 My marketing budget is small/I don't have a marketing budget.
Then you definitely need a marketing plan! Even if you are not spending physical dollars on marketing, you are spending your time. Time is still a resource that needs to be managed and a marketing plan will help ensure you are spending your time (or your staff's) on projects that will help you achieve the goals that are most important to you.
Myth #4 I do the same thing every year.
Repeating the same thing year after year may have worked decades ago, but the world is rapidly evolving around you and you need to keep up. It can be scary to go outside your comfort zone, but it's important to challenge yourself to incorporate at least one new marketing technique each year into your marketing plan. If it doesn't work, don't blame the medium! Ask another business owner who is successful with that particular medium what their strategy. If your budget allows, hire a consultant. The money you spend could save you a lot of time or dollars invested in a misguided campaign and ultimately should pay for itself and then some in new business.
Myth #5 I don't advertise so I don't need a plan.
Marketing includes branding, sales, public relations, and customer relations. Even if you never spend a dime in traditional advertising, chances are you still utilize in-store signage, flyers, and sponsorships. If you have a plan in place, you can more wisely select which events align best with your goals and make your sponsorship decisions based upon your plan rather than basing decisions on what tugs at your heart strings.
Myth #6 Marketing plans need to be thick, multi-page documents.
If you have a full-time marketing director to execute your plan, go for it. With my clients, I opt for a simple one-page document that you will use and interact with on a regular basis. Start with three goals you want to achieve in the next year. Then create a list of marketing tactics that will help you achieve those goals. A marketing consultant can help you come up with tactics that will hit your target market and provide guidance in executing those tactics (or for that matter, you can hire it done).
Are you convinced you need a marketing plan? Give Re:think Marketing a call today at 563-580-5657 to get the ball rolling.