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A Strategic Marketing Plan Is A Must

Source: BryansBizBlog.com

Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘You can never have too much advertising.’? The intuitive answer is, ‘No’.

The practical answer is, ‘Yes’.

In the best of all worlds, businesses would advertise 24/7, saturate their markets with TV, Radio, Print Media, Digital Media, Social Media, Flyers, Brochures, Promotional Items, and Fee-per-Lead Referral Services and be a member of multiple networking and other business-related groups. But as this list suggests, it is simply not possible. No small business has the financial and human capital to do it.

Marketing opportunities come along every day for business owners. What is so darn tempting about these opportunities is that they are being pitched to the owner s by…you got it…experts in marketing. When these ‘new’ opportunities arise and the sales pitch is being delivered by very skillful marketers/sales people, how do you assure yourself that you will not blow your business plan budget by signing on for yet another opportunity?

A well-defined, structured and strategically-aligned Marketing Plan within the business’ overall Business Plan will go a long way in maintaining your overall budget. This approach will focus the business on; (a) Aligning all marketing activities back to the values and mission of the business, (b) Establish defined goals, including maximum dollars allocated for each marketing activity, (c) Define the intended outcomes or the specific metrics to be measure to assure each marketing activity is achieving its’ intended outcomes, (d) Aligned directly with the cash flow/budget projections of the business plan.

When creating a strategic marketing plan, just as when creating a strategic business plan, it is often helpful to use an outside facilitator. The outside facilitator should be asking strategic level questions about the ‘what’s’, ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of business and its’ overall use of various marketing strategies and tasks. This foundational grounding of the marketing plan will significantly enhance the owner’s ability to keep marketing costs from getting out-of-control over time.

Weekly postings on management and organizational issues for both businesses and non-profits from Bryan Nelson of Vista Management Solutions.

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