Marketing Plans – What Are They and Why Bother?
I have seen a lot of plans in my time – new clients handing me a plan they have written or had written for them that is pages and pages long, spreadsheets, graphs, you name it. And guess what happens with it? Yep, you guessed it, nothing. It sits gathering dust but looks pretty impressive!
So, to avoid spending hours writing a plan which is never implemented because it’s just too darn complicated and overwhelming, here are my top tips for creating a marketing plan that you will stick to and will actually make a difference to your marketing (and I warn you, it is nothing fancy):
· Keep your plan to one page broken down by month and week. You could equally use an annual wall planner.
· If you are a start-up or particularly time poor, or a novice, pick no more than 3 regular marketing strategies to begin with eg: 1 social media platform, a blog, a newsletter.
· Do not commit to a strategy that you couldn’t implement yourself – it will be more time consuming and costly in the long run. Make a return on your marketing first or try a couple of strategies first to test and review what does and doesn’t work before you try to outsource.
· Now write down a theme at the top of each month column, which can cross all of your marketing strategies eg: Winter: window displays (winter clothes range), social media (staying warm this winter), blog (fashion accessories this winter).
· Then add any promotions, events, key dates, special occasions etc that you want to remember and feature.
· For each of your key dates entered in the above point, work back from each one the date you want to start promoting.
· Create as much content up front and schedule to social, newsletters, write blogs etc.
· Review your plan at least monthly. This will ensure that you don’t miss an opportunity and are prepared.
· Add to the plan the results eg: newsletter subscriber numbers, sales during promotion, event attendees etc so that you can look back and review which activity worked and reaped the best return.
And that is it! This will enable you to take action and get going. As you become more comfortable with it and build a routine with your marketing and gather data about your customers and sales, you can start to add in other strategies or increase the frequency based on the results – eg if your blog is driving increased traffic to your website then blog twice a month, or if promoting events on social is working and resulting in sales, then perhaps increase the frequency of events or the numbers you can take.
As ever, we would love to hear how you get on. Why not pop over to our tribe on Facebook and share a pic of your plan or share a win with us on our Friday #showoff themed day!