Why Having a Marketing Plan Isn’t a Waste of Time
For small and medium business owners, it can be quite taxing to develop a comprehensive marketing plan for your brand. As a business that is just starting or one which is in its busy growth phase, spending time on a marketing strategy might not seem like an efficient allocation of your limited resources. However, this blog will outline why having a plan, when it comes to your marketing activities, is more beneficial to your business, than just conducting your promotions on an ad-hoc basis. In addition to the benefits outlined in this blog, have a read of this article by inc.com to gain some tips on what makes a great marketing plan.
Identifying the needs and wants of your customers.
A business of any size must learn to focus more on how to cater to their customers. It’s not enough for a business to sell products or services, and to hope that sales will generate themselves. You have to be proactive in researching the needs and wants of your client. This is the type of information which will arise from conducting a marketing strategy. As these plans analyse your current environment and potential avenues of business, you will gain a greater understanding of how your customers operate, where they are, and what they want.
Realising your strengths, weaknesses, and potential opportunities.
One of the main benefits of developing a marketing plan is that it will force you to self-reflect. You will shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of your business. SMEs which conduct ad-hoc marketing activities, are burying their heads in the sand as they are completely unaware of this information, as well as the potential to improve and grow. Creating a marketing plan will allow you to identify the areas within which your business lacks, and allows you to plan for self-improvement.
Remember, most start-ups don’t fail to start, they fail to grow. Thus, for you to be able to grow your business, you need the self-reflection which a marketing plan will help you conduct. You can improve your short-comings, and capitalise on your strengths.
Following on from analysing your strengths and weaknesses, a good marketing plan will also allow you to discover potential growth opportunities within your business model. The information you could find might include things such as a customer demographic which is currently not being catered to, or a service which isn’t currently on offer by any of your competitors. This information will give you the upper hand and add another point of differentiation between your business and its competitors.
Giving your business direction.
Another benefit of having a marketing plan is that it will give your business a direction. It will allow you to reflect on where you want to be in the short, medium, and long-term, and provide you with the outline of how to reach your goal. A business without a clear direction is one which is doomed to fail. Another benefit of having clearly stated objectives is that it will allow you to ensure that your brand remains consistent at every stage of your business’ growth. Some businesses, during the growth phase, lose sight of their brand values, which has the potential to alienate your loyal customers. The most important thing for any brand is to remain consistent with its image and values, which is a significant benefit of a marketing plan which will give your business direction.
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Co - written by intern drone and CMO.
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