Accessible Marketing

Video: 3 Key Reasons Your Business Needs a Marketing Plan

by Judith Hutchinson

Here I am recording my first vlog all about why your business needs a marketing plan. Thanks for watching.

Video Transcript…

I’m always amazed by the number of small business owners I meet who don’t have marketing plans. There are a number of reasons they don’t– often they don’t understand what marketing is, they don’t know what they should include in a plan or they don’t have time to put one together. Now, I’m obviously bias but I’ve seen for myself the number of small businesses that have benefited from having a marketing plan in place. So I thought I would talk to you about the 3 key reasons your business needs a marketing plan and then in my next vlog we can look at how you can put one together for your business.
1. The first reason is that a marketing plan can save you money as well as make you money.

Any decent marketing plan is all about the customer – getting to know your customer and your potential customers and by getting to know them well you can save money.

To give you an example, a small business I worked with last year weren’t asking their customers for feedback so we developed a short online questionnaire. It quickly became apparent that not all of their customers knew about all of their products. Immediately we realised that to achieve their goals much of the marketing activity could concentrate on cross selling rather than having to spend more time and money winning new business. We also asked what social media channels they used so that we could focus on those that were more popular rather than wasting time and money on those that weren’t.
Another company I worked with who did not have a marketing plan initially were just doing things willy nilly like advertising, social media and other promotional stuff. The thing is they weren’t measuring what they were doing. By being aware of what does and doesn’t work you can save money by not wasting it on tactics that don’t bring you’re a return. This particular company now employs a full time marketing manager because they’ve realised the importance of marketing and are reaping the rewards.
2. The second reason your business needs a marketing plan is so you know what you are supposed to be doing – and I don’t just mean on a promotional level but at a strategic level too.

A good marketing plan will look at what are known as the 4Ps –These are Product, Price, Place and Promotion – there are other too but these are mains ones. You should have a strategy for each of the Ps and they all need to relate back to your overall business goal. Answering questions such as

– Which are your more profitable products? do you have loss leaders? – and why?
– How will your pricing align with your brand? – if you are a luxury brand don’t be charging aldi prices! Do you have different pricing strategies for different seasons?
– What are your distributions channels? – shop, website, pop up, affiliates, agents, events – to name a few.
– How will you promote your brand or business? – are you using push marketing strategies, pull marketing strategies Are there better strategies you could be using that will mean you are spending less on your promotional activity and achieving more?

All of these questions will be answered within the marketing mix in your plan. And they should all relate back to your business goals so that you are clear on what you are doing at both a strategic and tactical level. So you know what you need to do to achieve your business goals.

3. So the third reason your business needs a marketing plan is to help you and your staff to focus.

It gives the business owner a focus on what’s important and what they need to be doing from a marketing perspective.
And also if you share your marketing plan with your team it enables them to focus on what’s important and become more empowered to make decisions that help achieve your objectives.
So just to recap the 3 reasons you need a marketing plan are – to save aswell as make money, so you know what you are supposed to be doing and to ensure you and your team are focussed. Ultimately it’s about being successful.

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