If you haven’t yet done your marketing plan for 2010, don’t panic. There is still time. If you have already done your plan, check it against some of our marketing planning success tips below.
Marketing Plan Success Tips
- Keep it simple. Marketing plans don’t need to be elaborate. If you have the essential elements, the most important factor for success is your ability to execute the plan consistently and systematically. A business owner once told me that when they hired someone to create a marketing plan, they received a binder containing over 200 pages, many of them including color graphs. The business owner said, “I didn’t know what to do with it!”
- Tie tactics to goals. Don’t do anything in marketing that doesn’t directly help you achieve your business goals. In your marketing plan, you should write down which business goals each marketing tactic will help you achieve and how it will do so. (Note: Look at this one carefully. Almost everyone falls prey to implementing a marketing tactic without thinking about how it is tied to business goals.)
- Create an integrated system. Make sure your marketing conveys consistent images and messages. The brochure you leave behind after meeting a prospect should have the look and feel of your web site. The e-Newsletter that you send to the prospect should repeat the look and feel and messaging. Offer your content online in a variety of media, so that prospects can pick and choose how they want to receive your information.
- Take some measured risks. Marketing has changed tremendously in the last twelve years. Have your marketing tactics changed accordingly? If not, get educated on the new ways to market, especially on the Internet. Many online marketing tactics are more cost-effective than traditional, offline marketing. Don’t let your competition get ahead because you are afraid to try something new.
- Track results. It’s very difficult to plan marketing if you don’t have hard results numbers that prove the success or failure of your tactics. Too few businesses track marketing results, especially B2B (business-to-business) marketers. Find a way to track the source of your leads, the cost of your leads, your conversion rate of prospects to customers, and your marketing ROI (return on investment), even if it’s by simply using an Excel spreadsheet.
We’d love to hear your stories about marketing planning. When do you plan for a new year? How do you do it? How long does it take? How do you track results? Please comment below.