Even without taking Marketing 101, most business people know that they should have a marketing plan BEFORE they begin designing their marketing activities, promotions and materials. I actually thing the planning activities are the best part. A world of possibilities is open and their are a lot of questions to be answered. It seems that many companies labor over what their websites should say, or do, what type of brochure they’re going to design, or what events they should attend. Maybe you enjoy the chaos and dollars that are wasted, but it also means you do less and get less done. It’s so very simple – once a marketing plan is developed, the solution to what to do about websites, direct mail, lead generation, advertising, events, etc. will become obvious, and the implementation much easier—not to mention much more effective.
Unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want. If your business does not have a minimum of one month to develop a Marketing Plan before working on some marketing activity, make sure you have these four things in the works before you head down any path of implementation.
1. Get consensus from management on your positioning and draft a 25, 50, 100 word version of that position. Then use this copy in everything you produce.
2. Have at least a draft of a brand style guide that documents logo, color, and font usage, and follow it religiously.
3. Define your target audience, and make sure your tactical plans meet THEIR needs.
4. And get started on your marketing plan!