Anyone who has assembled an IKEA product KNOWS the importance of a good set of instructions.
A proper marketing plan, for small or global operations, should be a complete set of instructions that shows the reader EXACTLY how to complete the outcome that they set out to achieve. A proper marketing plan nominates every step, clearly and concisely, how to arrive at the result you set.
Better than an IKEA set of instructions, a proper marketing plan tells you everything you need to know… what tools and resources you’ll need, what contingencies to be wary of AND what to do if you experience them, what time period the process will consume and what circumstances around you might impede your progress.
Sadly, most templates and examples on the Internet are poor excuses for marketing plans and price is not a yardstick of quality. In fact, most web templates are likely to constrain, interfere and distract from development of a proper marketing plan… because EVERY business is unique.
What makes it harder is that good marketing planners are made not born, so experience and formal training are each as important as the other… a bit like brain surgery or space travel.
There are four parts of a proper marketing plan:
1. The ‘where are we now?’: Before you know where you are going, and to get to where you want to be, you have to know where you are now…. This means an objective market assessment, understanding of customer, competitor and market segments, your capabilities and competencies, but also the dynamics of the world that are out of your control and how they are likely to effect you.
2. Very few pioneers set out without a planned destination – and made it home! Setting mission and vision, nominating your purpose and reason for being is one of the most crucial and significant factors in successful business longevity.
3. The ‘how are we going to get there?” There are ALWAYS choices In travel we have plane trains and automobiles. In marketing we have
4. What how do we monitor progress and control variance? Few marketing plans even consider contingency, sensitivities, and vigilance.
Embracing the fourth pillar of planning, is insurance against failure.
The BEST way to develop a marketing plan is to write it from scratch. The worst way is to try and edit the very disappointing marketing templates you find splashed across the internet.
So bad are these, that the team at Launch Engineering developed a marketing planning workbook to help people in the DIY marketing planning space.
Have a look at