While most business leaders recognize the importance of having a strategic marketing plan that provides a roadmap for accomplishing critical sales and business objects, some companies simply don’t make this initiative a priority. Why? The reasons vary. Some companies don’t recognize the need to market. They think their business is unique, and customers will beat down the door to buy their products or services. Similarly, some think marketing is for “others” because they grow (or want to grow) by referrals only. And there are others whose approach is to just “wing it.” Apparently they don’t believe in Ben Franklin’s adage, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Developing Your Roadmap
Creating a strategic marketing plan need not be complex or cumbersome. However, it does require the brain power of contributors throughout the organization. To begin the roadmap process, assemble a task force that will address the following questions:
1. What did we learn last year that contributed to our growth and success?
2. What did we learn last year from our mistakes that we don’t want to duplicate this year?
3. What/where are our greatest business opportunities, and how can we take advantage of them?
Using the answers to these key questions, start crafting a concise, actionable and practical plan that includes these essential categories:
• Company vision and mission statement
• Defined target markets and industry pain points
• Specific quantifiable growth goals and qualitative objectives
• Strategies for achieving the goals and objectives
• Tactics to support marketing strategies
• Timetables and responsibilities
• Review, refinement and measurement process
Roadmap to Success
In the end, a well-developed plan (often just a few pages) serves as a living, breathing document that puts the sales and marketing teams, in particular, and the organization as a whole on the same page. It is this type of structure that provides team members with the clarity and transparency they need to succeed. When everyone knows what the goals are and how the company intends to achieve its desired results, they are able to contribute their talents and skills for the good of the company.
Make it a great 2017!