A good marketing plan is like a battle plan or a game plan; it should serve as a blueprint for the actions you need to take to grow your business. There are some things, however, you should avoid when putting together your marketing plan:
1) FILLING YOUR PLAN WITH FLUFF:
"Fluff" is anything not specifically relaed to a number, sraegy or tactic. Generalities also qualify. saying your target market is "everybody" or "adults-50-plus" isn't specific enough and will lead to problem down the road. Start to think in terms of a niche. instead of "everybody", scale down to "young males 16-plus who play video games and ride skateboards". instead of "adults 50-plus" turn this into "adult 50-plus" urn this into "adult women at least 50 years of age who shop online at least three a week."
Remember, marketing is all about buying customers. Imagine going to a grocery store and buying everything. You may want to, but in reality, your resources would never allow it. In marketing terms, this means buying your ideal customer with the resources you already have. So figure out who our ideal customer is and hoe much can budget to buy that customer. Then come up with a plan and stick to it.
2) NOT DOING THE NUMBERS:
Marketing all about math, and math is all numbers. Taken a step further- business is all about numbers. If you don't know your numbers, you won’t succeed in business. Creating any marketing plan without knowing how much it’ll cost to acquire your customer, what your average sale needs to be, what your profit margins need to be and how many times your average customer needs to buy over a lifetime, will set you up for failure.
3) RELYING TOO HEAVILY ON CREATIVITY:
Creativity is fine, and in my opinion, nothing is more creatively fulfilling than succeeding in business. But focusing too much on creativity at the expense of tactics and outcomes can hurt your business.
4) THINKING MARKETING IS ONLY ADVERTISING:
While advertising is part of any marketing plan, marketing is much more than strictly advertising. It is the way your receptionist answers the phone and how you set up your internal company culture. It’s the strategic aspect of identifying your ideal customer base, discovering your competitive edge and USP, setting your pricing and promotional strategy; and creating a system for repeat business.
5) FORGETTING TO MARKET TO EXISTING CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS:
For businesses that have moved beyond the startup phase, there’s no quicker way to massive growth than current customers and a “warm” pool of prospects. Generally, it costs up to six times more to get a new customer than to sell to an existing customer. So if your current customer than to sell to an existing customer. So if your plan doesn’t include initiative to tap into your current customers, you’re missing out on a huge untapped resource.
If the metaphor “marketing as warfare” fits, know that wars are won by attrition. If you can out-strategies and out-discipline your competition, you will win more marketing battles.