Marketing and advertising are often interchanged in conversations as meaning the same thing. So when it comes time to consider putting a "marketing" plan together many business owners think they're fine with their media buy. Neglecting aspects of marketing beyond advertising, however, is a costly mistake that often results in the need to invest in more media placement in order to achieve the same results.
Marketing plan vs. media plan
A media plan is a large component of a marketing plan, but by no means is it (or should it be) the only component. Unfortunately for many small businesses, often the only formalized plan they have is their media buy.
A marketing plan also incorporates additional strategies, including direct mail, public relations, retention tactics and customer service. While advertising can be an effective tactic to gain new customers, there are many tactics that are less costly and more effective when it comes to customer retention. If you want to reach out to your best customers and let them know about a new product or service, advertising in traditional media isn't going to be the best way to reach out to them. A marketing plan incorporates retention tactics in conjunction with your media plan.
A marketing plan formalizes strategies to help you reach your business goals. When approaching your marketing, focusing on goals will help you stay on target throughout the year. You'll have less knee-jerk reactions when sales reps offer you half-price advertising.
You'll be more purposeful in collecting client contact information, knowing how you intend to use their email address or mobile phone number. In turn, when you can explain to your customers the value you'll deliver with your communications they'll be more willing to share their contact information with you.
Laying a solid foundation for your marketing is much more than advertising. It begins with a marketing plan incorporating several strategies and tactics — some of them costing you nothing more than closing every sale with a smile and a thank you for your business. If you're ready to create a marketing plan for your business and see a greater return on your marketing investment, give Rethink Marketing a call today.