When you are driving to somewhere new and are unsure of the way, chances are you’ll use a map or a GPS system to guide you on your journey. Yet as a business owner, chances are you don’t have a marketing plan to guide you and yet you still expect to market your business and turn a profit at the end of the day.
A marketing plan is actually part of a business plan; it helps guide you on how you’ll get the word out about your business to your target audience. A marketing plan doesn’t have to be large, in fact all you do need to write out something to help you with marketing, because anything that helps is a positive isn’t it? Remember with a marketing plan you can actually plan for success instead of hoping for success.
Helps You Complete Market Research
It’s imperative that you learn about the market you’re doing business operates within. You need to know about all aspects of the business, the competition, and your target audience.
Helps You Determine Competition
Who are your competitors, who are your biggest threat and how do they operate, is just as important as what types of products or services they promote. It’s obviously not going to be exactly like your business, so learning all you can about them helps you differentiate yourself and your products from theirs in the eyes of your audience.
Helps Plan Marketing Strategies
One of the most important parts of the marketing plan is the strategies you will use to get the word out about your business to your target audience. Will you use a website, blogs, content marketing, brochures, online ads, offline ads, or something different? What type of results do you believe you’ll get for each of these?
Helps You Create a Budget
When you learn more about your market and what it takes to secure a customer, you can make a budget that is realistic to help you secure more customers and increase revenue.
Helps You Set Goals
Without knowing a lot of information about your target audience, products, services and budget, it will be hard to set realistic goals. But while creating the marketing plan you’ll determine this all this information.
Helps You Evaluate the Marketing Plan and Results
One part of a marketing plan that is continuous, even after it’s put down in black and white, is the fact that periodically you need to evaluate where you are. What type of results are you getting, and are they what you expected? Can you change anything to make it better?
Helps You Determine Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
When you create a marketing plan, you are also doing research that helps you conduct what is called a SWOT analysis. This will help you get a 360 view of your business and the things that can affect your business, for good or bad.
Helps You Make Smarter Better Decisions
All of this information combined will help you make better decisions about your business. The decisions you make will save you money, improve marketing and increase revenue.
The marketing plan is one of the most important parts of your overall business plan. It helps you determine how you’ll get the word out about your offerings so that you can increase revenue and have a much more successful business.