Spending money on marketing without a marketing plan is kind of like filling up your car with gas and going in circles around your neighborhood until you’re running on fumes. You’re out the cost of a tank of fuel, and you haven’t gone anywhere you haven’t been before.
Yet this is how many organizations approach marketing—with no specific direction, no goals, and no plan to get there. They often operate in fire-drill mode and don’t make time for planning. Or, they do make the time but face challenges establishing consensus among staff about how the organization should grow. All the while, there is increased pressure for marketing managers to demonstrate return on investment. How can you show ROI without first developing a plan? News flash: you can’t.
why your (and every other) organization needs a marketing plan:
- Accountability. Internal consensus on what to measure, how to measure it, and how far the needle needs to move will ensure that the team has ownership of its goals, that individuals can direct meaningful effort toward those goals, and that the organization can be accountable for ROI.
- More effective messaging. With planning and organization, messaging will be more consistent, more effective, and can reach far beyond the marketing department—making every staff member an ambassador of your brand.
- Streamlined production. All new marketing content (print and digital) will have a shared foundational basis (i.e. key messages). You don’t have to recreate the wheel for each new piece of content.
- Smarter decisions. Rather than reacting in knee-jerk fashion to every marketing opportunity that comes your way over the course of the year, you can make decisions quickly, easily and with confidence by considering whether or not the opportunity supports the goals you’ve already set.
- Informed adjustments. Planning allows you to monitor your progress and make informed adjustments throughout the year, rather than waiting for year-end results and guessing how you might do better next time.
If you don’t have a marketing plan in place, there’s no time like now to create one. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have to wait until next month, next quarter or next year to kick it off. No one will fault you for taking the initiative right now to make your marketing investment a more effective one.
Through a facilitated process, I help clients like you develop marketing plans, messaging platforms and brand strategies to make them more successful. If you’d like some of that, let’s talk.