A comprehensive marketing plan is important to your company. Maybe you think things are moving too fast. But you need to write it down
and follow up on what you said. You will make more money if you do.
Does your Marketing Plan identify your customers and how they view you
and your competitors? Does it contain action plans to improve your
standing? Does it include a budget? Do you measure the effectiveness of
each action? For most small to medium sized companies a plan at this
level is just a dream. If your company is spending 10%, 15% or even 20%
of revenues on marketing it could be a nightmare.
Your plan should be the focal point of your marketing efforts. It
should include measures for each activity and should lead you to fact
based management. A plan will help whether your sales model is direct,
retail, internet, or something else.
Technology offers new ways to communicate with your customers and
encourage repeat business. Lots of companies have tried a website and
given up when nothing happened. We can show you effective techniques
that will really reach your customers. Pay per click can be expensive.
Is your site optimized for the search engines and cross-linked with
your suppliers, partners and customers? Have you identified the
keywords and phrases that your customers will use to find your site?
What about your customer and prospect lists?Are they current? Do you
try to stay in touch? Is targeted email a part of your plan? Do you
send notices of specials and sales? Do you know which products your
customers are interested in? Do purchasers get to see related products,
options and upgrades? Do you send maintenance bulletins or recall
notices? How do customers and prospects find your business?
Every action plan in your program requires a time frame for action, someone responsible to make it happen, and some measures to see if it is getting done and how effectively it is producing results. By the way this is just another example of a pattern at work. We've done plenty of action plans and know that if you leave out this information the plan either won't get done, you won't know if it was done, and it will cost you more whether it gets done or not.
This is such a standard technique that it is frequently ignored. Identifying, analyzing and ranking internal and external factors that are affecting your company's performance right now is critical to any planning process.