An Online Marketing Plan: The Only Thing More Important than Online Marketing
There are many things in life that require preplanning. Certainly, a skilled cook, experienced builder, or team coach do not enter their respective activities without first doing some research and planning. A marketing plan should provide you with exactly what you hope to do for the upcoming year—it is the road map to your future activities. Creating a marketing plan in advance allows well-thought decisions made by cool-thinking minds. Marketing planning is an intelligent, pro-active activity.
- Without planning, a successful outcome is merely a coincidence.
- Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
- Not everyone possesses the necessary combination of logic and creativity to be a good marketer.
- Marketing is a company’s main element for success. Without it, sales and profits do not arise. A good, creative marketer can more than pay their way in profitable returns.
The key element in a good plan is good research.
Market research is the intelligence gathering process of planning that will guide a company in how to differentiate itself in a marketplace. It is the first step in creating a solid marketing plan. The first items to understand are:
- the product or service benefits and features
- the costs in preparing the product for market
- information on the competition
- information on prospects
The primary source of marketing research information are interviews and surveys and by asking questions. Secondarily, documentation on previous experiences and sales data can demonstrate prior success (or failures) and show what works in marketing and what anti-competitive strategies have worked previously.
What’s Included in a Marketing Plan
A typical marketing plan should contain a discussion of each major market research point in relation to how you plan to address each.
Included among these would be
- Which audience responds best to which attributes of the product
- Which promotional avenue has been the most efficient at creating a solid return on the investment
- A thorough tactical plan – a schedule for implementation of the individual tactics and the audience being targeted.
- A marketing budget – Hit and miss marketing is expensive and produces little. Without proper planning, marketing spending can soon run away.
Who can help?
Sometimes a company can get too close to its products and markets to see new opportunities or “see outside the box.” In such cases, external consulting can be of great help. Marketing is an activity dependent on intelligent memory and abstract interpretation of events and patterns. A good, intuitive marketer creates new ideas out of old fragments of information. For the superior marketer, they are not only comfortable thinking in that mode but find it well within the comfort zone.
Successful companies know that good, thorough planning by an experienced marketing professional has no peer in contributing to the growth and success of a company. To learn how we can help you develop an Online Marketing Plan, request a Proposal.