Are you Alice in Wonderland or an Army General?
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to” said the cat.
“I don’t much care where …” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go” said the cat.
If, like Alice, you don’t much care in which direction your company goes then knee-jerk (or ad-hoc) marketing will serve you well. If, on the other hand, you know where you want your company to be then a marketing plan will get you there.
By reading this far you must want to be an army general, someone who has a clear plan of what must be achieved and how before you send the troops in. In that case, well done you as you will get the results you want much quicker by having a plan.
In its simplest form a marketing plan must answer these five questions:
- Who do you need to reach? Profile them, i.e. where do they go, what do they do, what do they read, what do they listen to/watch, what websites do they go to, etc.
- What do you need your business to achieve? list your ultimate desired results and give them measurable targets (don’t choose more than three)
- What are your marketing objectives? list what you want your marketing to achieve and give them measurable targets, e.g. crack into a particular magazine, increase unique web visitors by x%
- How are you going to reach customers? For example, direct mail, events, news releases, networking, podcasts
- What key messages do you need to communicate? This will make what you say consistent and targeted.
Once you know what you want to achieve and do then make a list of what you are going to do each month, for a minimum of six months, and DO IT.
Here are my top tips for an effective marketing plan:
- Set clear, realistic and measurable objectives
- Set deadlines for meeting objectives
- Set a budget for the campaign and schedule activities accordingly
- Ensure one person is responsible for the plan’s execution and delivery
- Regularly review your progress – learn from your achievements and failures and amend the plan accordingly – your plan shouldn’t be set in stone.
So, are you an Alice or a General? It’s your call.