They say a goal without a plan is simply a wish, so why do so many businesses I come across not have a plan, in particular when it comes to marketing?
Whether it’s a business plan, a marketing plan or even a life plan, why should we have them? Here’s ten reasons why a plan will help you succeed.
- You have something to follow. A plan is like a map. We rely heavily on our sat navs even for the simplest of journeys. Imagine not using a sat nav in a new location and seeing where you end up – this is like launching a new product and not having a plan.
- You establish your goals. A plan forces you to have a goal in mind and agree on it. Someone said to me recently, no-one leaves the house and says let’s get in the car and see where it takes us and it’s true. We have a destination in mind.
- You create the route. With a plan you have a route to follow. You know the first steps you need to take. You can create an action plan, which you and your team can follow.
- You gain accountability. Once you verbalise what you want to do and how you’re going to get there, you’ve accountability for reaching your destination. You will be able to see whether you’ve reached your goal or what the progress is towards it.
- You create focus – With a plan everyone is working towards the same thing. All of your activity is working towards the same goal. Take a campaign to get new customers in Milton Keynes – your keywords will be around Milton Keynes, your landing page will replicate this, your offline advertising will be centered around key areas in Milton Keynes and so on.
- You create efficiency. With everyone and everything focused in the same direction you create efficiency. Your time and your money go further. There’s no waste. You get the best out of your team.
- You prioritise what’s important. If you have a plan, you can see what’s important. No-one has infinite resource, so a plan allows you to decide which activities to start first; what order products are going to be launched, which location are you targeting first, which marketing channel are you starting with?
- You have a better view of the future. “Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it”, said Alan Likin. A plan will help you predict what is likely to happen in the future and create strategies and tactics to deal with different eventualities.
- A chance to review everything. A plan provides the perfect opportunity to review everything. What is your current position? How are you perceived and performing versus your competition? What’s the progress towards your goals? What are you good at? Where are your customers from?
- Assess the risk and opportunities. Just like planning a journey, creating a business plan gives you the opportunity to see where the risks and opportunities are. When you set out on a long journey you consider where the traffic jams are going to be, when the best time to travel is. It’s no different for a business plan.
Just like a car journey, things can crop up, accidents happen on the motorway and you need to reassess your plan. This is all part of planning. A plan should not remain static, it is a dynamic entity, focused on delivering against your goals, but flexible to the environment around it.
So there’s ten reasons to have a plan. Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Why not keep yourself sane and put a plan in place!
If you’re on the path to insanity and you’d like to move your business forward and create a plan for your marketing, please contact me.