“Failing to plan, is planning to fail” – that’s a popular quote often attributed to Benjamin Franklin and Winston Churchill. While the source of this quote may be in question, there is a lot of wisdom in this statement as it applies to many areas of life – particularly to business and marketing.
The most important thing you can do to ensure success with your marketing is to have a plan! And I don’t mean you need an elaborate or thick document with a million tactics to be successful – that’s a total misconception.
There really are only a few key components every marketing plan should include.
- Competitive research: You have to know what your competition is up to. How are they promoting themselves, what words do they use to describe their services, where are they marketing and what is their presence like online, in social media and at trade shows? While you are investigating these things also keep track of what you do different or better.
- Key messaging: How does your company stand out? What are your strengths? Why should someone work with you versus your competitors? Talk with your sales people. Let them tell you how prospects and customers perceive your company and what they really like about it.
- Target audience: Who are you selling to? Who are the influencers? You can’t win business if you are not talking with the right people.
- Goals: What are you hoping to accomplish? It’s important your goals are included in your plan. Consider what you are trying to accomplish and how you will measure success.
- Develop a tactic schedule: List out the various activities – such as press releases, emails, social media posts, blogs, trade shows, etc. Then, develop an actual schedule. A schedule is crucial to your success. It will help you stay on track.
Now you have everything you need to create a successful plan. I’ll be breaking out these components in the next few months. In the meantime, if you are developing your plan and want some help, reach out to me. I’d love to work with you.
Until next time – remember failing to plan really is planning to fail. So, get to it!
By: Amy Hansen, Vice President of Public Relations at Strategic Planning at Seroka.