With the growth of artificial intelligence-driven algorithms and predictive analytics that offer information, goods, and services to customers – the role of marketing in some companies seems to have diminished in recent years. My argument here is to have more marketing, starting with documenting your company’s future with a marketing plan.
Marketing Plan, Why You Need To Plan For The Future
Many people are ambitious and are gusty enough to open a business, but are unsure how ‘to get there’. They sell aggressively and are busy doing, thinking that when they have enough money, that is when they will have the time to formulate a marketing plan.
Selling aggressively can sometimes lead to problems. If there is no marketing strategy tied to selling then selling can be all things to all customers – which can weaken a company because they will develop too many products and services. This will dilute resources and efforts, trying to serve too many markets and not being strong in any. Marketers know the importance of attending to all “4 Ps”: price, place, and promotion, in addition to a product.
Identify unmet and even unknown customer needs
The search, content, and loyalty campaigns that most managers call marketing these days are common downstream tactics for generating or maintaining awareness or repeat purchase; the full, business-growing power of the marketing function comes way upstream — from creating new markets.
Strategic, upstream marketing will help to define who to sell your products and services. A robust marketing plan includes trend analysis and competitive review to help reveal the cultural, social, and psychological dynamics that address the development of and communication of your product offering.
Put Your Marketing Plan on Paper
Problem is, being busy without a clear vision is being busy for busy sake. Putting your vision into words will help you to understand how much time will be required from you to get your business to match your vision.
Now you are not just doing, you and your business are working towards building your vision!
Looking at the sales people around your business meeting today, do they agree with your plan? Do they understand what your business will look like in five years from now? Ideally, a successful marketing plan also happens where there is buy-in.
Build a road map
Better yet, put your vision as a road map and put it in a place where everyone can see it. This will help to engage your staff and get them to make the right decisions.
Make sure to include measurable steps and small wins along the way, to keep everyone involved. Small wins will also help you stay focused and motivated.
Marketing Plan: Documenting Your Company’s Future
Marketing should not be a tactical function. For example, acquiring and retaining customers, as many companies practice it today. Businesses know what it takes to make and move stuff. The problem is, so does everybody else.