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Plans…. We all know how difficult they can be to make! Planning a night out isn’t always so simple. Ben, Jim and Bob can’t do Friday as it’s their wife’s turn for a night out. Then Sue can’t make Saturday with the girls as she’s designated taxi driver for the kids. Inevitably plans get cancelled.

So the question is, if it’s so complicated organising a night out, how difficult is it to put a Marketing Plan in place?
Answer…. Surprisingly easy! Or at least it will be if you follow this step-by-step guide!
Developing a marketing plan isn’t as much hassle as it sounds and the TRUTH is, no one will cancel on you.

Let’s get to the basics:

Whether you’re thinking of starting up a business or your already up and running a Marketing Plan will play an essential role in giving you direction and will help clearly show what steps will be undertaken to achieve your objectives.

The key element of a Marketing Plan is that often ‘dreaded’ word market research. First thoughts that may spring to mind are how long will that take? And may even bring back those memories from school when your homework was to research about ‘The Aztecs’ or a ‘Historical Landmark’ ….in my case I would always leave it to the Sunday after watching Heartbeat and Surprise Surprise with Cilla; hoping it wouldn’t take too long and fact is, it never did.

Once you’ve done the nitty gritty market research from customer to competitor analysis, the actual plan can now be put in place. The purpose of creating the plan is to clearly identify the steps to be undertaken to achieve your objectives and help set long term strategic goals.

Benefits of Marketing Planning:

Here are the essential benefits you’ll be rewarded with by pursuing a Marketing Plan.
* Forms the heart of the business from which operational and management plans are derived
* Spot possible threats to your business and help prepare to either minimise or capitalise on them
* Removes barriers to your vision
* Just starting out? A marketing plan will help you stay within budget, whilst exploiting the effectiveness of your marketing
* Motivate employees to achieve targets
* Help identify and understand the market you will be operating in.
* Set objectives for the marketing and promotion of your business.
* Ultimately it helps focus the business on achieving the goals you believe to be the most integral to your success.

How will it help your business to plan marketing strategies and activities?

Our simple guide to developing your Marketing Plan breaks the process down into easy, manageable steps that help you achieve your goals, understand your market, customers, competitors and the environment. It will also help you to specifically identify how you will communicate to your target and the tactics you will use to achieve this.

In a nutshell, a Marketing Plan helps you create accurate and realistic targets. The keywords are PREPARE and PLAN! Prepare to take your stance in the market and plan for any obstacles that may arise.

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by Tanya Wasiuta on 27/02/2015

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