In my business consulting experience, I have noticed a certain attribute that is common in most entrepreneurs and business owners. Most are “doers” rather than “planners”.
In reality, being a “doer” is perhaps the ultimate character trait of a successful person. Rather than thinking or wishing, they get out there and make something happen. In fact…I would probably put myself in the “doer category.”
Although there are amazing benefits in being a “doer type”, I’ve often found myself that, while working in the “doing” mindset, I’ve gotten myself in trouble as I didn’t always think things through thoroughly. Can any of you out there reading this relate?
That being said, I’ve also witnessed this behavioral pattern in a lot of my small business owner clientele. They get into trouble “doing” the wrong marketing activities. Specifically, marketing activities that were programmed into them since birth.
Most people think… well, we need to market the business so let’s put $1,000 per month into Radio, Yellow Pages, or Newspaper Advertising (like most do) and then see if it generates any results.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for testing to see if different marketing tactics will work or not, however the majority of business owners that I run into, seem to follow the pattern of just haphazardly trying to see which marketing might stick in traditional popular marketing channels. The downside that I see is that this type of business owner does not have any concrete basis or statistics to work from. If you want to “do” the right marketing activities the right way, you must start with a good marketing plan.
Definition of a Marketing Plan is as follows:
A marketing plan is a written document that is an organized set of activities that is designed to promote your product, service and/or company. A marketing plan is designed to increase customers and company profits and usually “planned out” between one and five years in the future.
Elements of a Good Marketing Plan
Wisdom: “focus your efforts on a few BIG things”
- Conduct quality research as the foundation to build your marketing plan
- Business & Marketing Mission Statements (they should be different but connected)
- Determine specific goals and time frames to reach these goals
- Determine what your effective “marketing channels” are
- Determine your marketing budget (do steps 1-3 first)
- Delegate responsibility to carry out each segment of your plan
- Measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign and re-valuate