Knocking Your Marketing Plan Out of the Park

Posted by Amy Chan on October 06, 2014 0 Comments

Everyone in the business world knows that a marketing plan is essential for a company’s success, but many people have no idea why.  They don’t know what a marketing plan is for, how to use it, and how to make a working and breathing document that can genuinely help a company.  But learning the answer to these questions is essential.

A marketing plan should always look a year or two out.  And yes, that means that it needs to keep being added to, changed; it needs to evolve and be assessed and referred to, etc.  Eventually as you grow you’ll need to address 2-5 years out, but at first focus on that critical “next year.”

A good plan will be shared with the whole company and let everyone’s opinion come in to play.  Sometimes someone on the team will have a handle on a particular aspect that will be essential to the plan’s success, and their input will be of critical importance.

So now, why do you need a marketing plan and how do you use it?

It’s a Benchmark

You get to use the marketing plan as a way to get everyone on the same page, to rally around the same concepts.  You will use it sort of like how the USA uses the Constitution, in that we have all agreed on the sanctity of this document, so if there are squabbles or simply questions of where to go to next, you can refer to this document to get everyone on the same page.  Employees will feel invested in the future of the company if they can see for themselves the direction and vision for years to come.  If you can make it a document that people are excited about, it will really help rally the troops, so to speak.

A Navigational Chart

On a day to day basis, you may know what you need to do.  Make some coffee, have a meeting, write a memo.  But a great business plan will give you and your company in general a way to navigate the treacherous seas of the real world.  Though a business plan is of course not set in stone and can be amended and should definitely be malleable, direction is important, and even essential for your business.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that a business plan is just going to cramp your style. 

Operational Instructions

You can’t put together an Ikea dresser without a set of poorly-drawn instructions, how can you put together the future of your business without directions?  Because a marketing plan addresses all aspects of the company, it forces you, in the writing stage, to consider all sorts of different parts of the business.  It’s a great source to return to when you’re wondering what the next steps are.  You see in the plan that by month 6 you were hoping for a certain outcome, so how can you work today to make that happen?

Puts Thoughts in Writing

Another essential part of the marketing plan’s benefit is simply the fact that it is written down.  It’s easy to brainstorm and come up with a ton of ideas and get excited about the direction you are going to go in, but actually putting the thoughts and ideas down on paper forces you to think about the ideas, and about how they play together.  Sometimes just writing things down creates issues you hadn’t thought of and must be addressed in the planning stage.

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