My background is working for larger organisations where marketing plans and budgets are taken extremely seriously and a lot of time and effort is spent on measuring results throughout the year.
But something I have learned quite recently is that smaller businesses have different priorities and pressures, where marketing plans may not be updated or even exist.
Is it harder for business owners, especially where the business owner is the marketing, sales team and customer service, to try and find the time, but I would argue it's critical. With no marketing, the only way you can grow your business is on the goodwill of returning clients, unless you are in the very enviable position of generating all work through word of mouth referrals.
So as most small businesses need to market themselves, how do you do this effectively and efficiently if you don't have a plan?
Marketing plans aren't static documents, but evolve and change as you learn what works for you, and gauge feedback for a particular campaign. But they do act as a great road map and plan for the year ahead. How will you spend your marketing budget? Looking at previous plans, you can see what worked, what didn't, or what was most effective at a certain time of the year.
Even those reliant on free marketing avenues still need to gauge the best way to spend their time and energy.
The marketing plan can become an invaluable document to help you grow your business and client base.
If anyone wants a template marketing plan, let me know and I can send you one.
Does everyone here already use a marketing plan, and have clear objectives for the years ahead? Or do normal business pressure push this to the bottom of the queue?