Brandspace insight blog - marketing plan 2021

Why a marketing plan is crucial for business success

Your business probably has the ‘all-important’ business plan. But what about your marketing plan? So many companies don’t seem to value the importance of this document that forms the foundations of your business and provides the platform for you to grow sustainably and profitably.

As the Chartered Institute of Marketing states: “Essentially, a marketing plan is a return to the basics. It’s all about finding out where you stand now, analysing where you want to be, and then establishing a route to get there. It is the touchstone for all marketing activity and, ultimately, the long-term mission of the business.”

It is no coincidence that successful businesses around the world have a plan that clearly sets out their strategy, timeline, budget and resources to implement their marketing activities.

Your marketing plan should consider the following key areas:

  • Where are you now? Why do you exist and what are you trying to achieve?
  • What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis)?
  • What are your key objectives for the next financial year?
  • Who is your target audience and where will you find them? (you cannot target everyone as this will be a waste of your time and budget)
  • What will be your marketing tools? (how will you deliver your key messages to your target audience – brochures, social media, offline advertising, website etc.
  • Timescales – when will you deliver your key messages throughout the year?
  • Budget – around 7-9% of your gross profit should be allocated to your marketing
  • Evaluation – how will you evaluate your marketing to ensure you are achieving your overall objectives? If you’re not evaluating, you’re wasting your time and money

Your marketing plan should be a flexible working document, that can be changeable when your plans aren’t always as effective as you’d hoped. It’s just as useful to understand which tools don’t work or need tweaking, as well as those that work well.  There will always be external factors that are out of your control and will require a change to your plan – like the COVID-19 pandemic that none of us could have predicted!

Once your document is written it is important to ensure that every member of your team has a copy and that you explain to them how you need their help to achieve its objectives.

It is crucial to remember that marketing takes time to nurture and grow and that most activities can take at least six months before results are seen, so don’t be disheartened if you do not see immediate results overnight.

If you need help creating a bespoke marketing plan for your business, then contact us for a free discovery call:

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