How Can a Marketing Plan Benefit Your Business?
No matter what your business is – marketing is usually a vital part of gaining, satisfying, and keeping customers. Despite this, however, a large number of small businesses still have no marketing plans or targets.
A standard business plan is not the same as a marketing plan, although they overlap in some areas. A marketing plan looks at the strengths and weaknesses of your business, the market(s) you are in, and your competitors, whereas a businesses plan usually looks only at your business in any significant detail.
The following article is a look at the key areas of a good marketing plan, as well as some ideas on how to put one together:
How Can a Marketing Plan Help Your Business?
(ii) Being Prepared
A marketing plan helps to keep your business prepared for unexpected events or promotions by your competition. A well written plan allows you to spot possible threats to your business, and prepare for ways to minimise or capitalise on them.
If you are starting a new business, a marketing plan will help you stay within budget, whilst maximising the effectiveness of your marketing.
(iii) Planning + Finance
A well written marketing plan demonstrates that your business is planned fully and effectively, as well as helping to show that you understand the market you are/will be operating in.
Although a marketing plan is more of an internal guide, it can also be used as evidence of good planning in the business when trying to obtain finance. It is very difficult for even the most profitable business to gain finance without a solid business plan to show that the business is prepared; a marketing plan provides even further proof that the business is thoroughly planned.
(i) Objectives and Focus
A marketing plan should set objectives for the marketing and promotion of your business. (e.g. Our mail shot should reach at least 40% of our target market in 6 months.) This can significantly help focus your business on achieving the goals you believe are most important to marketing and business success.
Part of your objective setting should look at the possible costs of any objectives, as well as the time and effort needed for it to succeed.
By helping you to set objectives that are sensible and relevant, a marketing plan helps you to create accurate and realistic targets.
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