Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Marketing Planning - do you have the time?

Fail to plan and you plan to fail. Be the exception to the rule - plan, assess, and plan some more

Planning is often difficult because there is no immediate feedback and it takes time to prove its value.

On the other hand, lack of planning can be disastrous. The more careful the marketing planning, the more likely problems will be anticipated and the closer you will get to your ultimate goal.

Managing directors / owners of small to medium sized businesses generally have to:
know everything
keep up with everything, and
do nearly everything themselves.

But business people cannot be expected to 'know what they don't know'. Importantly, it's not just the lack of knowledge or experience that can be a limiting factor, but also the available time to be effective in doing what needs to be done. More often than not, the need is for practical hands-on assistance.

A good marketing plan is essential if you want to make the most of new opportunities and keep customers coming back for more.

This is living document – you need to review it regularly to ensure it reflects changes in the market and your business.

The important thing is that you use it, review it, test it, measure it, change it, and make it work for you!

Most people I talk to want a plan simply for the bank and generally want to jump straight into a campaign without considering all of the aspects of their business.

I know it is frustrating to take time out to plan, but it is also a waste of money to run headlong into something that smply will not produce results. If you don't understand, your market position, customer pain points, competition, products benefits, how you arrived at your pricing, how will you ever be able to set your strategy?

Do you care? One day you will. One day you will walk into your business and you will not have a clue how you got there and how to move onto the next stage.

My advice, start the marketing planning process now, review what you do often, measure everything, change what doesn't work.

Happy planning

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