Marketing Plans – Why most businesses don’t have one and why you definitely need one

Why is it that for many business owners putting together a marketing plan is the job they dread almost as much as filling in their tax return – which in many instances they will leave to their accountant anyway?

I am sure you already know that having a plan which sets out how you want to move your business forward in the year ahead would make your business more successful and easier to manage – so what makes the process so daunting and more importantly – does it have to be like this?

The answer of course is no it doesn’t, but before we consider how to demystify the marketing plan and make is more fun, let’s briefly consider what is causing the problem in the first place.

There are many reasons why business owners don’t like to produce marketing plans or can’t find the time to do so. Here are the some of the ones I come across most frequently:-

  1. Limited marketing knowledge – which also means lack of marketing confidence
  2. Lack of time
  3. Can’t afford to spend money on marketing – (so what’s the point of having a marketing plan)
  4. Don’t like/trust marketing companies.
  5. We have spent money on:
  • A website
  • Press advertising
  • SEO
  • PR
  • Hospitality Events
  • Directory entries
  • Pay per click
  • Exhibitions
  • Special offers
  • E-mail campaigns

In the past and it didn’t work

  1. We are doing ok without marketing
  2. Our problem is sales not marketing
  3. I spent time and effort on a marketing plan once and it just sat on the shelf

 

Not all of these objections will apply to you but even if only one of them does you are going to need a strong incentive to overcome it.

The best reasons for doing any task which you find difficult are:

  • You are very clear about the benefits
  • You find a way to make the process easier
  • You find a way to make the process enjoyable…maybe even fun!

Let’s start with the benefits:-

Having a marketing plan will bring a wide range of benefits to your business:-

  • Makes you think about what you are trying to achieve over the next 1/2 years
  • It is the first step to winning profitable business from your competitors
  • Allows you to think seriously about why your customers buy from you
  • Helps you to identify and evaluate new opportunities
  • Focuses your mind on where you growth is really going to come from
  • Challenges you to consider how much you are willing/able to invest in marketing?
  • What are you expecting as a return on this investment?
  • Makes you feel more confident about your business and its prospects for the future
  • Increases engagement & commitment from employees, customers and other stakeholders
  • Allows you to talk confidently to marketing companies about what you are trying to achieve

Now that you have a better understanding about why a marketing plan is important for your business why not have a look at our other blogs about how to improve your marketing including how to make creating your marketing plan more enjoyable and less of a chore.

I love helping business owners get to grips with their marketing so if you have any questions or would like more information please visit the MGBA website www.mgba.co.uk or contact me using the details below:-

E-mail: peter.schofield@mgba.co.uk

Mobile: 07831 550157