How To Develop An Effective Marketing Plan…
Research has shown that most small business owners fall into the trap of copying others. They do this by looking at what other businesses are doing in terms of marketing then do the same thing themselves. What’s concerning about this is the fact that most marketing efforts are getting very poor results.
So the process of blindly following others can be quite costly and disappointing as it often leads to poor results and mere confusion.
Therefore it is critical to ensure your marketing campaign has an underlying strategy and an ability to measure the results and know what your getting so that you can keep changing your approach until you get the desired results.
How many time have you placed and ad or created a website which produced dismal results. Most of us are guilty of this…aren’t we? An early lesson I learnt from my mentor is that if you want to be successful at anything, look at what others are doing in your field and do the OPPOSITE! Because the fact is most people fail in what they set out to do and a large part of the reason for this is they have not developed a marketing plan and blindly follow others.
Abraham Lincoln once said that if you have an hour to cut down a tree spend the first 40 minutes sharpening your axe. So It’s important to realise that businesses usually have different agendas, huge budgets or as in most cases just be taking a stab in the dark with their marketing. So the key attribute for success in small businesses is that they plan for success. They take the time to develop a strategy for the marketing of their business.
So here are the key elements I would look at when developing an effective marketing plan.
1/Define Your Vision – Having a crystal clear vision of what your business is all about is an indispensable pre-requisite for success. This is what your business is aiming to achieve. Spend the time necessary thinking about the purpose of your business, your mission, values you will adhere to and so on. A clearly defined vision establishes the framework to develop a plan within. As famous author Stephen Covy points out ‘begin with the END in mind’.
Ask yourself these questions…
“What do you want your business to look like in 5 years time?”…Why?
‘’What impact do you want your business to have on the world?’…Why?
“What do you personally want from your business?”…Why?
“What role do you want to be playing in your business in five years time”…Why?
Now write a two or three paragraph mission statement based on the answers to the above.
2/ Set Reasonable Objectives – Once you have clearly defined your vision your next step is to set reasonable objectives or goals. Tony Robbins says that most people overestimate what they can achieve in one year
and dramatically underestimate what they can achieve in 5 years. So bear this in mind when setting goals for your business.
My belief is that you should set one year goals for your business. Here are some ideas you could use a starting point.
Total Net Profit
Number of Clients/Patients/Customers
Leads converted to clients
Product / Service Range
Profitable Joint Venture in Place
These are just some key area’s to focus on when setting goals.
So don’t be a conformist and approach your marketing without any serious thought on your part as to what outcome you are seeking to achieve. Devoting yourself to becoming good at marketing, developing a marketing plan and taking action on that plan and consistently adjusting your approach will prove to be the very best investment in your business you will ever make.
By John Hester