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The Other Reasons Your Business Needs A Marketing Plan
So you need to write a marketing plan.
You know you need one. Any decent marketer will tell you that. But one of the main things holding businesses back is the time and effort that it takes to write one. I’m not going to deny that writing a marketing plan is a lengthy and detailed process. But, I’m hoping to change your mindset from one of dread to enthusiasm because writing a marketing plan is an amazing opportunity to set your business on the path to success.
With this post I’m not going to wheel out the standard lines. What I will do is highlight the other benefits you don’t hear about. The little pieces of marketing gold that will happen whilst you research and write your plan.
These are what make it such as valuable exercise and why you should look forward to the opportunity of writing one.
Research Generates Ideas
In a recent post I spoke about creativity and how to be creative when you’re not that creative.Think of writing your marketing plan as a brain storming session on steroids.
The early stages of a marketing plan require significant market research to build a platform for the marketing strategy and tactics. This will fill your mind with lots of information about your business, your industry and your competition. The fact that this information is now in your brain will naturally lead to idea generation.
I guarantee you that you will have more good ideas about your business through writing a marketing plan than through any other method. Your mind will buzz with ideas on anything from new products and services, promotional ideas, pricing options and branding. Very valuable indeed.
Highlight Flaws and Opportunities In Your Current Offer
When you look at your competition closely, you naturally compare what you are both offering to the market. This comparison allows you to highlight flaws or opportunities with your current offer. If your offer is very similar on benefit and price, you can change it to differentiate yourself. But, if you hadn’t written the marketing plan, you would not have the information to compare the offer. So you would probably still be selling the same widgets as your competitors for the same price and wondering why your sales are not improving.
Learn New Marketing and Business Concepts
Unless you’ve got a marketing degree, or had years of marketing experience, many marketing concepts will be new to you.
The marketing plan will force you to learn more about marketing than ever before. This can only be a good thing. Through your research you will read books, blogs, listen to podcasts and look at web sites that will provide you with lots of information. Many of these you will subscribe to and start to receive weekly or daily updates from.
You will now become a student of marketing and commit to a future of continual learning. This is critical in marketing because nothing remains the same. There are always new opportunities to target customers and you need to have your finger on the pulse to make sure you take advantage of them.
You’re One Step Ahead Already
The fact is that most businesses don’t have a marketing plan. By writing one you are already a step ahead of your competition. You will know more about your market which is very important when running a business. It will allow you to identify opportunities quicker, know your competition better and know what makes your target market buy. That’s powerful stuff!
So now it’s time to have a go at writing you plan. Stop thinking NOW that the process is going to be a waste of time and the plan is just going to sit in a bottom draw never to be used. Look forward to the opportunity to take your business to the next level and generate ideas that will set you apart for the competition for years to come.
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