Truth be told, 2017 involved us flying by the seat of our pants far too often. My 2017 planner has the battle scars to prove it. If you were to look inside, you would see lengthy to-do lists barely half finished and tasks from just about every category imaginable. You can probably relate to the difficulty of juggling the roles of CEO, social media manager, customer service rep, copywriter, and designer, to name a few.
At the end of 2017, I realized that the chaos stemmed from one glaring mistake. We didn’t have a marketing plan. Yikes. No wonder we were so frustrated, confused, and burnt out.
Marketing is the lifeline of your business.
No business can survive without sales. But marketing is not just about spending an exorbitant amount of money on ad campaigns.
According to The Balance, marketing is defined as “the process of interesting potential customers and clients in your products and/or services.”
As the lifeline of your business, marketing is not something that should be underestimated or poorly funded. It’s not enough to just hope that clients and customers will find you and develop trust to work with you. Good marketing requires a plan that is intentional AND strategic.
In this blog post, we’ll cover five compelling reasons why you should have a marketing plan for your business. (Psst.. you’ll want to read ‘til the end if the thought of creating your own marketing plan makes you want to pull your hair out)
You need to understand how your business is performing in the market
We don’t know about you, but our brains don’t know how to stop churning out ideas that we feel compelled to act on.
In entrepreneurship, ambition can be both a blessing and a curse. There will always be new ideas and new projects that we have to decide whether or not to act on.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of constantly setting new business goals without stopping to look at how far you’ve come.
When we sat down to create our 2018 marketing plan, we did a performance review of 2017 first.
Part of that performance review included a SWOT analysis. We listed the strengths and weaknesses of Humble & Whole along with the opportunities and threats in our industry.
Understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and history of your business performance will actually help you set goals that are attainable AND realistic.
You’ll also have a greater awareness of what strategies work well for your business.
The goal is to do more of what is working and less of what isn’t, but sometimes you can miss what the data is telling you unless you pause to reflect on your progress.
Ready to build momentum in your business? Instead of investing in another course, you need 1:1 support and a clear strategy to start landing clients/making sales consistently. Check out our Rescue My Marketing Intensive!
Clarity is key to making meaningful progress
The foundation of a marketing plan is clear, measurable, and achievable goals. Without them, you and your team won’t be sure about what you’re working towards.
When you sit down to create a marketing plan, you identify the objectives or goals that you want to achieve quarterly or annually. Writing down clear marketing plan objectives also makes it easier to track your progress, the performance of your team, and the effectiveness of the strategies you implement.
For example, we have a certain income goal in mind that we want to achieve by offering social media strategy, social media management, our list building mentorship, and a new offering we haven’t developed just yet!
This income goal is completely realistic based on the number of clients we served last year and the popularity of our social media strategy services.
Because we were specific about the amount we wish to make, it will be easy for us to track our progress and gauge the effectiveness of our marketing strategies.
Eliminate work day confusion and frustration
Have you ever felt like you were in over your head trying to build a business from the ground up?
There are days where you sit down on the couch or at your desk and stare at your computer screen, completely at a loss of what to work on first.
Or maybe you’ve been taking action, only to realize weeks later that you’re not moving any closer to achieving your goals.
A good marketing plan not only lists clear objectives but also outlines the strategies that will support the achievement of each objective.
When you list the strategies you plan to implement to achieve your objectives, organizing your workday becomes 10x easier.
For example, to elaborate on our income goal, we identified connection calls, Instagram, and Facebook as our primary marketing focus. Once again, this was based on our 2017 performance review that we did before we identified our objectives.
Now when I begin my work day, I know that reaching out to entrepreneurs for connection calls is a top priority, as well as planning and creating meaningful and strategic content for Instagram and Facebook.
A marketing plan keeps you focused
Outlining the strategies that you plan to implement to reach your goals also helps you develop a healthy and profitable tunnel vision.
As entrepreneurs on our quest to constantly improve our customer experience, brand awareness, and offerings, it’s easy to get distracted by the latest techniques or apps designed to make our lives easier.
Shiny object syndrome is a real threat to achieving your goals.
A clear marketing plan can combat shiny object syndrome by causing you to make logical decisions and investments that are necessary instead of those fueled by wishful thinking.
If something clearly doesn’t support the strategies you’ve identified to reach your goals, then it can be easier to justify a delay or decide against the purchase of a product or service.
Developing a marketing plan for your business has the power to bring your largest dreams to life. Successful businesses are not accidents. Meeting and exceeding your business goals requires ambition, purpose, and strategy.
Do yourself a favor this year by rolling up your sleeves and writing your marketing plan.
Overwhelmed at the thought of getting it all down on paper? No worries. Check out The Master Your Marketing Plan Challenge!
Throughout January, we’ll be guiding you step by step through the process of creating a functional marketing plan for your business. Join us inside The Humble & Whole Community to gain access to the challenge materials!