Busy Little Fools.
Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Let’s not beat around the bush. Failing to deliver an annual marketing #plan can have you and your entire department running round like busy little fools.
Business is like war. Wouldn’t you rather be a heroic military leader in command of a well-trained troop of soldiers instead of a dreamer with his head in the clouds?
Although it can take considerable time and effort, an annual #marketing plan is a must-have for any #business or organisation.
What’s the big deal?
It’s your masterplan – a blueprint or roadmap to success. It will help you realise your goals, assess the current situation and develop focussed strategies that reach your #customers, position your business in a creative and credible way, use your budget and organise your team’s time in the most effective and efficient manner.
Whether you want to acquire new customers, retain existing customers and increase #loyalty, build #brand reputation, or change customers’ behaviour, your marketing plan will be your go-to resource.
Why the Audit is a necessary exercise?
It’s unlikely that you will be able to continue to keep doing what you have always done. The #macro environment – that’s the big wide world – is constantly changing and the auditing process helps Managers assess the current situation, as well as consider possible scenarios that may impact your business in the future. You may even be prepared to combat disruptions to your business. In today’s business world, change is perhaps the only constant and with this in mind, marketers should carry out an #audit every year.
The auditing process allows you to get to know your customers better. The data you store in your #CRM system and the insights you collect from #GoogleAnalytics (GA), should help you define your customers’ #demographics (age, gender, social positioning), #psychographics (personality and emotional-based behaviour linked to buying habits, purchase choices, attitudes, beliefs and lifestyle), and #webographics i.e. where they hang out online, and even what devices they use.
You can also keep a keen eye on your #competition to find out how they are reaching out to customers and engaging with them, and the ways they are converting them. For example, are they offering a loyalty card or a promotional sales offer? It’s probably useful to not only look at direct #competitors, but also indirect competitors that may offer different products or services but share a similar customer base. Perhaps there are even new competitors on the market that are offering a replacement or substitute product or service that may impact your sales directly?
Finally, your audit needs to look at your internal organisation to assess the resources and systems that you have at your disposal. The structure of your organisation may also be of significance, or the style of management, relationships and power play between #stakeholders may also have an impact on your plan.
The devil is in the detail.
The bulk of the plan will be detailed within the next section that identifies the things that you will do. You should aim to throw #marketing activities that are practical to your industry into the mix and will reach your customers – for example, these may include traditional offline tactics, such as print #advertising, face-to-face #selling and trade shows, or #digital activity only, such as #email, #socialmedia and search engine marketing (#SEM). Or a mix of both. The possibilities are endless.
However it’s not just promotional stuff that you need to consider, you really need to be looking at the #7P’s of the marketing mix to identify what else you could do to help you achieve your #goals. For example, do you need to upskill your people, develop new processes and procedures, adjust your #pricing, open a new shop, or upgrade your existing premises or rationalise your #product portfolio?
Whatever you include, you will need to plan for these in a logical way. Key project management tools will assist you here, but ultimately you need to get a time and #resources perspective, so that you know who is going to deliver what, at what time and how much it’s going to cost you.
So why not stop running around like a blue-arsed fly and put the kettle on instead? Alternatively, if you simply can’t face it, you can always find a trusty #consultant to do it for you!