06 Dec So…Why Do I Need a Marketing Plan?
Last month we discussed several ways to create marketing plans and we wanted to take a few minutes to explain why. Since we want you to truly understand their importance, today the team discusses the nitty-gritty behind why having a strategic marketing plan matters.
1. A marketing plan frees up brain space
The vast majority of our clients are not marketers, therefore they rely on us for our marketing, public relations, and advertising acumen. Even if you are well-versed in marketing, Social Media Coordinator Jessica Yost says that “a marketing plan keeps you from fumbling around in the dark” when promoting your business.
Although your area of expertise might be jewelry making, IT development, or e-commerce, no one will know about your incredible services if you don’t tell them – and that is where marketing comes in. Maybe you do not know where to start, or maybe you feel like your marketing efforts are not having the desired impact. Let us review your marketing plan (or help you build one from scratch) because, as President and Founder Lindsey Germono points out, “by allowing yourself to set up a plan, you’re taking care of the big-picture marketing items now. You are being proactive instead of reactive.”
2. You know what but not how
You might know what you want to do in order to promote your business, but sometimes, when you are so invested in the details, you end up talking over your customers’ levels of understanding. Imagine you have a Christmas tree farm and you want to discuss the differences among the types of trees you sell. You go into how the trees are grown, their origins, and how the Christmas tree became a holiday tradition. That is wonderful information, but, frankly, all I really want to know is whether a Douglass Fir or Scotch Pine is best for my apartment. I want to know how quickly it loses needles, how often I need to water it, and how fragrant it is. In other words, I need to know practical information, and you’re giving me technical information.
On our end, we promise you that this happens all the time, and this is why it is so beneficial to have a professional create a marketing plan that not only works for you, but engages your target audience. Simply put, Lindsey notes, “a marketing plan sets you up for success.” Putting your plan down on paper allows you to see if your ideas make sense and to gauge whether or not your desired message translates correctly.
3. Planning now gives you streamlined execution
As a business owner, you know how overwhelming it is when dealing with several moving parts. As Marketing Coach Melissa Clampitt says, “if you don’t have a plan in place, your marketing gets lost in the shuffle,” so creating a marketing plan allows you to operate quickly and efficiently.
For example, let’s say one of your goals is to engage with your customers more on social media. In order to do that you have to post, and maybe you simply don’t know what to post. By having a social media calendar as a part of your marketing plan, you can look at the month ahead and pre-schedule posts in a program like Hootsuite. Now, instead of wasting time figuring out what and when to post, you can spend that time with your clients.
Some business owners find plans to be restricting, but according to Jessica, “plans equal freedom. It is okay if you have to change course, but at least you have a starting point – and starting points are usually the most difficult.” It is absolutely worth the time to plan because, as Lindsey says, “having a plan shows that your business is healthy.”
Contact us with any questions you have about creating your 2018 marketing plan. You can call us at (757) 777-3780, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers to making 2018 your best year yet!