Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Next steps, part of Writing a Marketing Plan.
- Writing a marketing plan is a great way to consolidate all of the information, the ideas, issues, and aspirations that you have about your business all into one central document. It captures all the things that you and your team have done and need to do to succeed in the marketplace. Without a plan, you run the risk of meandering back and forth between different marketing initiatives, and that's not where you want to be. A marketing plan of any length, whether long and detailed or short and to the point, will help you be more successful than not having any plan at all.
I've seen teams create a real simple plan on the back of a napkin that has just three things on it: Who, meaning your target audience; What, which is your products and services and the benefits they deliver; and How, which is the value proposition you're broadcasting to your potential customers. Just aligning and executing around these three questions can help your team stay coordinated. Now on the flip side, I've also seen marketing teams spend months and months creating a massive, detailed document with every conceivable aspect of their marketing plan included, and honestly, that may be overboard, because what really matters is the way you and your team come together, how you wrestle with issues, how you have conversations about those issues, and ultimately, how you make decisions to just get out there and win.
Marketing is about competition, marketing is about taking risks, and marketing is about creating customers that want to stay with you for life. A good plan helps you achieve that. So my final piece of advice is this: Find that right balance between planning and doing. Don't see them as separate activities, but as things that you do in parallel. Plan, then do. Plan, do, and so on. At each iteration, you learn it and adjust.
It reminds me of the instructions on a bottle of shampoo, wash, rinse, and repeat. Finally, don't strive for perfection in your marketing plan. No matter how hard you try, your plan will have things that are specifically wrong, but directionally correct in terms of where you're headed, and that's what matters. See the plan as a dynamic document that'll change and be updated as you learn more things. Great marketers expect to face a lot of ambiguity as they tackle the challenges out there.
A written marketing plan helps cut that ambiguity down to size so you can deliver a great result.
- Planning for a marketing campaign
- Writing the situation analysis
- Writing the strategic, tactical, and budget sections of the plan
- Leveraging your plan