The Importance of a Marketing Plan for Your Business
- April 14, 2021
- Posted by: Funmilola Sanya
- Category: Sales & Marketing
Marketing is highly regarded as one of the most important activities of a business. It is not just a business function; it is the bridge that connects the producer to potential consumers and it is what sustains your business for a very long time. The success stories of major corporations hinge on good marketing strategies. So whether you’re a one-man business, a co-founder of a big corporation or you’re just starting, everyone should have a marketing plan.
In today’s article, we cover the definition of a marketing plan, purpose, types, and reasons you need one for your business.
What a marketing plan is
It is a detailed operational document that outlines your marketing or advertising strategy to generate leads for the coming month, quarter, or year. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as the “activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” It is a guideline for delivering your products and services to your potential customers.
A marketing plan should include:
- An executive summary and description of your business
- An analysis of your business’s current marketing position
- Your marketing goals and business objectives
- A timeline of when marketing strategies will be implemented and tasks within the strategy will be completed
- A description of your business’s target market, customer needs, and delivery plan
- Your business’s unique selling proposition and tactics
- Tracking and evaluation of key performance indicators (KPIs)
The purpose of marketing
Marketing is primarily responsible for making sales easier and more profitable for a business owner. It shouldn’t be considered as a business function that consumes revenue, rather a function that creates revenue for the business. In the article ‘Marketing is Everything‘, Regis McKenna stated that “marketing today is not a function, it is a way of doing business”. He stated further that “marketing is not a new ad campaign or this month’s promotion. Marketing has to be all-pervasive, part of everyone’s job description, from the receptionists to the board of directors. Its job is neither to fool the customer nor to falsify the company’s image. It is to integrate the customer into the design of the product and to design a systematic process for interaction that will create substance in the relationship.”
The purpose is to own the market, thereby becoming a dominant force in the market. This can be achieved when the company is able to make the customer aware of its willingness to ensure that its product or services fit into the customer’s requirements and needs. This is the only way to create substance in the relationship between the producer and the consumer as Regis McKenna stated.
The importance of marketing
Marketing is important for the success of your business, both now and in the future. If you’ve tried to scale your business through different functions and have failed, you have a clear signal that you need a proper marketing plan. A good marketing plan helps you target your ideal customers in a smarter way, connect to them through the right mediums at the right time, and increase your chances of converting leads to sales. It is the glue that connects everything together and it is what helps you keep pace with the ever-changing tastes of your customers.
Types of marketing plans
There are different forms through which your product or services can catch the attention of your potential customers:
- Social media marketing: Using different social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat
- Paid/digital marketing: Pay-per-click (PPC), banner ads, influencer, sponsorships, social media ads, and ad retargeting
- Content marketing: Using original content to showcase a product or service
- Time period marketing: Campaigns used over a specific period
- New product/service: Plan to showcase a product or service launch
Reasons why you must have a marketing plan for your business:
- It allows you to make decisions based on fact, analysis, and experience.
- It enables you to plan and manage your resources effectively
- It helps you to organise your time and priorities
- You’ll be able to create a set of measurable and achievable goals
- It will help you establish your position in the market
- It provides transparency and ensures consistency
- It puts everybody in the team on the same page
- It will help you provide better customer service
- It provides clarity of what you are doing and what’s expected of your business
- It will help you ensure your marketing is proactive and organised
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