Why You Need a Marketing Plan

Repeat after me: “I need a marketing plan.” Very good! We’ve all thought it, all drawn up ideas on a whiteboard, probably put it on a to-do list somewhere. But the truth is, having a good plan gives purpose to your marketing. It allows you to think further into the future, and make decisions along the way that help you meet your goals. Importantly, it also helps you know when to strategically say ‘no’. For some, the act of writing your marketing plan can transform the way you do business.

We often use the word “strategy” to define the purpose of a marketing plan. But it doesn’t have to be so big and scary. The most vital part about making a plan is simply writing it down. Truly, the act of writing it down forces you to make decisions about what you want to do and how you want to do it. With some practice, you might even write multiple scenarios and then choose the best one to execute. But just getting it down on paper is a good place to start.

You’ve probably heard that marketing plans should be considered, “living, breathing documents.” What does that even mean? It sounds lofty, but the idea is strong. Even after you have created a plan, you can absolutely make changes as new challenges or opportunities arise. But again, I highly encourage you to write it down before moving the metaphorical goalposts for your organization.

While no two businesses are completely alike, there is a basic recipe that can help you get started. This month, we will be reviewing the anatomy of a marketing plan, including: Objective, Strategies, Tactics, and Metrics. By following along with our tips and exercises, you will be able to start 2017 with a roadmap for success.

We will begin with tips for writing your Objective. Stay tuned!

Sara Soergel