During a recent conversation with a potential client, I actually heard the question, “Why do I need to plan my marketing?” And to be honest, I was a little dumbfounded at the time.
But, for someone who’s never really been in the marketing industry or has never really thought seriously about marketing their business, despite how long they’ve been in business, it’s quite a legitimate question.
So, I’d like to answer the question: “Why do I need to plan my marketing?”
Now, I’ve written about having a marketing plan. I’ve written about what a marketing plan needs. But, I’ve never really discussed planning it, even down to a small, short time-frame.
So, what I’d like to do is just give you a few pointers on the key things that you need to take into account and, of course, why it’s important to plan your marketing.
So, first things first. The overall reason why you should plan your marketing is simply because your marketing is the way you get and keep customers. It may sound simple, perhaps even a little too basic.
But, if you don’t work on getting and keeping customers, you effectively have no business. You just have a badly paying hobby.
So, like everything else in your business, marketing needs to planned. Just like your finances, your sales activity, your workflow and work delivery, it all needs to be planned and managed.
And one of the keys to having a marketing plan is to work on having consistency.
Now, I wrote a blogpost a little while ago about being consistent in your online marketing and your social media. But, the same thing applies to all of your marketing and it does come back to your marketing plan, which in my view is absolutely essential.
Now, here at Buzz, we plan our marketing. We have an annual strategy which gives us some idea of how many customers we want. We know what kind of turnover that will give us.
Then, we have some idea of the kind of overall marketing plan that we want. And we ask ourselves these questions:
- What do we want to achieve?
- Do we want to grow the database?
- Do we want to grow our social media followers?
- Do we want to improve the response rates from our social media, from our emails, from our marketing promotion, from tradeshows or networking events?
And we have a plan for this.
Then, we bring that back down into what we do on a quarterly basis, and we plan each quarter’s activity. Not always a clearly written plan, but definitely a plan.
So, for this year of 2015, we’re picking on Celebration Day emails and having a bit of fun. But more importantly, we’re going out there and making our audience smile a little bit, and making them realise that we’re still here, and that we’re capable of having some fun, and that we are actually quite a good bunch of people to deal with, and that we’ve got a very novel approach to our marketing.
We’re very consistent with our social media. We plan our social media down to the week. Are there particular themes that we do on a weekly basis in our social media? Are there particular types of news that we want to respond to?
We’re very good at making sure that we allow time to do our marketing. So, we do some marketing every single day. We aim at an hour. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less, but our target is an hour a day each. Can you do that?
But, we also then have a strategy for going to networking events. We go to networking events to meet people, gather data, collect email addresses and names to add them to our email list and promote to them? We normally have a follow-up plan for networking? Do you?
I also want to point out that this plan isn’t written in stone. Occasionally we get it wrong. We do have times when it doesn’t go to plan and we don’t get things done due to the pressure of workloads. But we always come back to the plan as soon as possible.
So, the idea behind it is to not just do marketing in a haphazard fashion because unfortunately, if you’re casual about your marketing, your marketing will be a casualty of being too busy.
When work starts to flow, it’s often, the marketing takes a back step in favour of getting the work done. And, unfortunately, when you’re busy is the time when you need to make sure you keep on the pressure to get marketing done. If you just do prod-it-with-a-stick marketing, you get some customers in, you deliver the work and the service to those customers, and then what?
If you’re not consistent, if you don’t have a plan, your income, your sales are going to be up and down like a yo-yo. It’s very difficult to sustain an ongoing business unless you’ve got ongoing marketing and sales activity.
So, I hope that’s given you some insight into having a marketing plan and why it’s important. If you need any help, please give us a call. More than happy to sit with you and help you to write something and come up with marketing ideas. But, go out there, make the effort, and write your own marketing plan.
But, above all, don’t ever ask “Why do I need to plan my marketing?”