When I talk with people about making a marketing plan for their business, they often get a look of dread; “That’s too complex” “I can’t afford that”. It’s actually rather simple, and can usually be done over coffee one afternoon.
GPS for Your Business
Think of a marketing plan as a road-map. When you open Google Maps, it asks you a couple questions: Where are you now? And where do you want to go? Once it knows that, it gives you multiple ways to get to your destination, and asks if you’d like to walk, bike, or drive.
Your marketing plan does the same thing.
Where are you now?
Start with the basics of what your business is and what resources you have available.
Where do you want to go?
This doesn’t have to be a precise goal; it can be a general one. Perhaps you want to reach a new market segment. Maybe you want to increase sales within your existing market. Or maybe you’re looking to break into a completely new maket.
How do you want to get there?
This is the part where a marketing consultant can be very helpful–because this is where mistakes get made. The most common mistakes are spending too much money, and spending it in too many places. It’s better to choose two or three methods of advertising, and sticking to them. Work with the advertising agent to choose the best times and places for your ads to run.
How fast do you want to go?
This ties back to the resources you have available. It’s okay to “walk”–to invest only a few resources (time, money, product) if you use them wisely.
If you think it’s time to have a marketing plan, contact me. We can sit down over coffee and map out your marketing.
Blaze is the founder of Redleaf Consulting. He started as a dishwasher at the age of 15, and worked his way up to Director of Marketing for a Sino-German joint venture in Jiangsu, China. He has over 25 years of experience in education, communication, and marketing.