We've all done it. We have a great meeting, it's really productive, everyone is motivated and there are loads of brilliant ideas that you just can't wait to make happen...but how many actually do?
Brainstorming is great, and it's an essential part of keeping your business and brand fresh, but it can also cause frustration when you don't deliver results from it. Let's face it, realistically you aren't going to be able to, no matter how good your intentions are.
But fear not, there is light at the end of the tunnel (it's not all doom and gloom). Creating a marketing plan will give you the steps you need to help you achieve your goals. When I talk to my clients about creating a marketing plan, they often look deflated. I think that's because they know it's going to take up more of their precious time (and we all want more of that back). But throwing mud at the wall in an attempt to make it stick is only going to result in one thing; a sloppy approach to your marketing activity.
So, the time is now. Put down your phone, grab that caffeinated beverage and focus on planning. Why? Because it's really important for your business (and I'm guessing that your business is really important to you?).
STEP 1 - Know your business objectives and don't deviate
It's interesting how many people I talk to that don't have business objectives, or even a mission statement. Why does your business exist? Think about it and list 3 (or more) goals for your business for 2018. Make them count and don't be fluffy and put things like 'To get more customers'. Be specific - Turn that goal into something meaningful - 'To increase our new customer base by 20% by November' as an example, is far more powerful. Once you have your goals, share them with your team. They will help to keep everyone focused AND they will help you build the tactics you need for your marketing plan.
STEP 2 - Don't overcommit
An action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end
The art of disposing armed forces in order of battle and of organising operations, especially during contact with an enemy
(we're dealing with definition 1 in this instance, however I can see where the second would be useful)
Once you have your brilliant business goals in mind, you need to think about developing a marketing plan in order to reach them. This needs to detail the tactics you will use across the many marketing methods, ranging from networking and events to digital advertising.
However, be realistic. If you have a very small team you will either have to focus on the priorities, OR outsource some specialist help in the areas that are really going to deliver a return (and if you don't know which these are, you can try a 'test and learn' approach).
I work with businesses large and small to develop marketing plans so that they have a clear direction of where they are heading and what they need to do to get there. If you're feeling perplexed about it, don't be, just get in touch.
STEP 3 - Measure everything
At some point someone is going to ask you how a campaign went and what it delivered in terms of ROI (ok, so if you're a business owner, it might well be yourself asking this question at 3am in the morning - cue cold sweat).
Measuring isn't easy, but it's a worthwhile means of evaluating if something worked or not
There are numerous ways to measure the success of an activity, and yes, you may need to think outside of the box for some ideas, but always have a metric to go against each campaign. More and more businesses are now using social media as part of their marketing strategy (and with the potential reach, why wouldn't you?). Again, this can be a tricky one to measure, and is an area of expertise where I can help.
There you have it. 3 steps to follow to create the killer marketing plan, but if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of creating one, just get in touch and I will be more than happy to work with you on your marketing approach.