Failing to plan is planning to fail …
Can you afford to waste time and money? Far from it, your firm is likely looking at ways to cut costs. So why put your dollars into futile marketing efforts? You know that you must market, or watch your business die, but isn’t there a better way than just “staying busy” in marketing?
We believe that far too many firms jump into the marketing process without a clear vision and understanding of what they want to achieve and how they are going to accomplish it. This can translate into many thousands of dollars wasted on advertising, inadequate website design, ineffective seminars, fruitless public relations campaigns, etc. What is a needed? A PLAN, A PLAN!
Strategic Marketing Plans: Basic Steps
There is truth in the statement “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” A Strategic Marketing Plan involves several steps, including:
- Do a “situation analysis”. Before launching into new marketing programs, take time to analyze your issues and challenges. Look at the factors causing your firm to seek new marketing initiatives. Are your current market segments profitable? If your previous marketing and sales efforts have been ineffective, why? Do you need to diversify? Is the firm in danger of collapsing without new business?
- Select appropriate marketing techniques. Since marketing is based upon the needs and wants of your market, a single approach will not work for everyone. While this seems obvious, too many firms fall prey to the latest fads in marketing, instead of carefully determining what will be suitable for their targeted market. For example, a SEO (search engine optimization) campaign may be a great revenue generator for one type of firm but an abysmal failure for another. An experienced marketing professional can help you to choose what is best.
- Identify your most profitable markets. Far too many firms lack a clear definition of their targeted market. For example, don’t say that all of Orange County is your targeted market. You must be more precise. With over 100,000 businesses and 3.2 million people in Orange County alone, most firms cannot truly serve nor market to all of Orange County. Consider criteria such as industry, location, service needs, fee threshold, etc.
- Establish realistic goals. Develop reasonable objectives for revenue growth, profitability, market share penetration, increased image, etc.
- Implement your program professionally! Don’t make the mistake of choosing the right tool (e.g., seminars) but then employing it in a useless manner (i.e., cheap, low budget). Always maintain the same high quality in your marketing as you deliver in your service or product. Make sure that you have an adequate amount of human and financial resources to support achieving these objectives.
With the increasing number of competitors in your market, it is more important than ever to have a plan of attack, i.e., a Strategic Marketing Plan. Now is a great time to plan for success.
Kevin Brown Marketing & Consulting’s “Strategic Marketing Plans” are aimed at helping our clients improve their marketing success. Through our unique process, clients are able to be improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, while appropriately managing the use of human and financial resources.
About the author:
Kevin W. Brown, M.B.A. is president of Kevin Brown Marketing & Consulting. Prior to starting his own firm, he was Director of Marketing for Deloitte in Orange County. His firm specializes in marketing for small to mid-size professional services firms.