Marketing involves matching features and benefits of company products and services to specific needs of specific customers and informing them that these products exist to meet those needs. To be able to do this, every business must have a solid marketing plan. It will use all of your market research and bring together all other aspects of your business to get your products to where they should as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
A marketing strategy is a general approach on how products can meet customer needs and what methods are to be used for informing customers about your products and how and why they should buy them. A marketing plan will provide specific details on how to execute a marketing strategy, including specific details about financial estimates, time frames and indicators to gauge if objectives are being met.
In simple terms, a marketing plan is like a company’s blueprint for actions it will take to be able to attain its objectives. A marketing plan must encompass company objectives, specifics of your current market, effective analysis of business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and your plan for attaining objectives. These plans must be adaptable to changes in the market.
A business with a marketing plan is able to focus on target markets and determine if any gaps exist that can be a source of opportunities. It should also be able to tell you how your marketing activities are progressing and identify strategies that are ineffective.
If a business is doing well in term of revenues and operations, it inspires more confidence in its investors and creditors. Establishing a good reputation in your niche and industry will benefit your business in more ways than one.
Your business marketing plan will direct activities for your business and will define how customers perceive your brand today and in the future.
Determining if your Business Has an Effective Marketing Plan
Now that you know why a business can’t do without a solid marketing plan, it’s time to evaluate if your business is operating with a good one.
You can save a lot of money when you have an effective marketing plan in place because it will cut out unnecessary expenses while at the same time maximize your opportunities. Your marketing tactics should be directed at the right markets within a well defined budget.
If your sales are not improving, your marketing budget is increasing and future projections are decreasing, that can only mean you don’t have a good marketing plan.
Just like pilots rely on flight plans to navigate, your marketing plan should direct how your business is run. If it isn’t taking you to the direction where you should be headed, it may be time to chuck it out the window.
There are many reasons why a marketing plan can become ineffective but one of its most basic premises is poor market research. You need to know who your customers are before you can effectively market your product.
Any business owner who is developing a Marketing Plan must possess a good knowledge of marketing principles. If you do not, the most prudent course of action is to educate yourself with Marketing Tutorials. You may also hire personnel with Marketing expertise who can help formulate key components where you lack expertise.
The business climate is changing rapidly and marketing methods need to adapt to these changes. Your marketing plan needs to give a clear picture of how your business will target opportunities now and in the near future.