Many entrepreneurs and small business executives either don’t have the time or the staff to adequately plan their marketing activities. For most they would simply jump straight to the end of the story and start talking tactics.
Knee Jerk Reactions are Common
- Where should we advertise?
- What convention or trade show should we attend?
- How many brochures should we print?
- Should I use a post card or a traditional letter?
- What about an over sized or dimensional mailer? That will get their attention.
There is a Better Way
While all these tactics may be effective for your business how do you know which ones to use if you have not taken the time to properly set objectives and plan your strategy?
Like a general going to war you need to have an end goal in mind – your mission. Once that has been developed you can then set your objectives. This sounds easy but no doubt it can be a rather challenging and time consuming process. Don’t let this deter you though, these steps are critical to the success of your marketing activities.
Build on What You Know – Learn What You Don’t Know
Each step in the strategic planning process builds upon the one before it. If the previous step is skipped, left incomplete or hastily done all subsequent steps will suffer. The end result will be a plan with weak spots your competitors can exploit and one which will certainly siphon profits.
Follow a Process to Achieve Results
The image below illustrates the Strategic Marketing Planning process I like to use, it’s a three phased approach covering 10 unique steps. This approach will help you create a strategic plan which should last at least 2-3 years while providing you with a selection of varied strategies and tactics to implement, test, monitor and repeat.
Strategic Marketing Planning is a key ingredient in the overall success of your marketing tactics no matter how large or small your business. Set aside the time set your mission determine your objectives, plan your tactics and implement (operationalize). Putting some thought into these activities can give you the extra edge you need to overtake a competitor or simply survive in today’s environment.
Contact me if you are interested in discussing a strategic marketing plan for your business.
Rob Ewanow brings over 20 years of experience in various B2B marketing roles ranging from strategic global positions to hands-on tactical marketing and marketing operations management to his own company, RWE Marketing His passion for the industry fuels his continued interest in the ever-changing world of marketing.