A marketing plan is a comprehensive document or blueprint that outlines a business advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year. It describes business activities involved in accomplishing specific marketing objectives within a set time frame.
If you are already in business, stop and ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my company’s strengths?
- Do I clearly understand my market niche or position?
- What business am I in—what is my product or service?
- How do I measure success?
- What are my short-term goals?
- Who are my customers?
- Who are my competitors?
If you are ready to launch your small business enterprise, get a copy of South Pacific and pay close attention to Bloody Mary when she sings “you gotta have a dream—if you don’t have a dream, how are you gonna make a dream come true?” She is the epitome of a homegrown successful entrepreneur selling island goods and services to American Seabees on a remote Polynesian island during World War II (her specialty product is grass skirts). Mary’s “dream” is her marketing plan and she implements it with great bravado, resulting in a substantial financial gain.
If you’ve been in business for some time, are you implementing a marketing plan? Do you know what a marketing plan looks like? If you are not achieving your financial goals, it may be an indication that a plan is needed.
A marketing plan need not be a 30-page academic and theoretical document, which probably will sit on a shelf collecting dust. Your plan must be flexible and dynamic, responsive to changing market conditions. However, you do need one—even if it is a one-page summary.
Ready to build that marketing plan: Check out the book “Small Business Guide to Marketing Basics“