What you need before you can develop a marketing plan for your business

image of 5 things you need before you can develop a marketing plan for your businessFive Key Things you Really Need

As a marketing consultancy, we are, of course, going to recommend you need a marketing plan. However, there are five key things you need to consider and agree on before you can develop a marketing plan for your business. Let’s look at what they are…

1. Know your Current Performance

How is your marketing currently performing? Do you know?
If you are developing a small business marketing plan, we presume that your current plan (or lack of one) isn’t delivering what you want. So when we talk about current performance, what should you have a good understanding of?

  • What marketing channels are you using?
  • What is the return on investment (ROI) from each channel?

Why?
How can you make the right decisions about what to continue, or to stop, without knowing exactly what is and isn’t working?

2. Set Targets

What are you looking to achieve this year? What does that look like throughout the year? How does it compare to this year?

Why?
Without targets to aim at, how can you determine how you are performing? Whether you have an internal marketing manager/team, you do it all yourself or you outsource your marketing, you need targets to assess performance.

3. Allocate Budgets

Once you have targets, you can determine a budget. This needs to be a budget you can commit to throughout the year. It should, of course, be as much as you can afford, but if you are unsure, reduce the figure to a number you can commit to. If you want to know what sort of figure, click here.

Why?
Without a budget, specifically one you can commit to, how can you expect your marketing team (internal or outsourced) to be able to develop an effective plan. Without knowing what resources they have available, they cannot plan anything.

Of course, if things are going well and there is more money available that you want to add to the budget, that’s great, and I am sure your marketing can do something with it.

We often see people struggling with this and definitely struggling with telling a marketing consultant what that budget is. There is a belief that they will develop a plan that spends whatever you say they can have. This is where point one comes into play again. You can tell what it has cost to acquire a client, so if they want to spend more money, they should be committing to delivering more new clients.

4. Know what Skills are in your business

Do you know what marketing skills your team has? Once you know whether you have great writers, developers or social media aficionados within the business, you also need to understand whether they have the time available to use these skills. If their job is not a marketing role, can they be spared to use those skills?

Why?
Skills that are available within the business do not need to be sourced elsewhere. If you do not have to source these skills, you can save money. This, of course, assumes these skills are within your marketing plan.

5. Real Commitment

Number 3 (budgets) talks about a budget you can commit to, but you also need to commit to wanting to market your business. This sounds weird, admittedly, but there will be times when you are really busy. Times when you simply don’t believe you have time to do the marketing you need to.

Why?
If you don’t commit to marketing your business, you cannot expect to achieve the targets you set for your business. It’s as simple as that.

Are you ready to develop a marketing plan for your business?