6 Reasons Why SMEs Need a Marketing Plan
Marketing plans aren’t a luxury item reserved only for larger companies with dedicated marketing teams. They’re a very useful element of every business plan. Here are 6 reasons why it’s worth investing the time and effort to write yours:
1. It helps builds a consistent pipeline
Marketing can so easily become a bit ad hoc when you’re busy running a company. When sales are good it may be overlooked, then when the pipeline starts looking thin it can be a panic to get things back on track. Making demand generation a year round commitment smooths revenue peaks and troughs.
2. It aligns your goals
The marketing objectives set out in your plan will hopefully enable you to achieve your business goals – contributing to the long term success of the business.
3. It makes you pinpoint your USPs
The planning process forces disciplined thinking around why your business is different and better than the competition, which strengthens all messaging and gives confidence to your sales team.
4. It gives you time to take stock and stay current
Planning gives you the opportunity to review past campaigns, target audiences and buyer personas. Who is your ideal customer and where can you find more of them? Has your audience changed over the past year? Have new opportunities opened up for you due to external factors?
5. It defines the value you add to your customers
You’ll have the space to think about and define the real value you provide to your customers. How do you solve your customers’ problems; their wants, needs and aspirations? Understanding these things will improve how you go to market and how you appeal to prospects.
6. It provides focus
A plan will pinpoint timescales, tasks and highlight resourcing requirements. Getting a schedule together is the first step to making it all happen – just be sure to execute at least 75% of it.
One final thought – your marketing plan is a living breathing thing. Once written don’t leave it in an online file gathering virtual dust. Refer to it daily. As activities and campaigns finish analyse results to see what worked well and could be repeated – and what really needs to stop. Setting up regular checkpoints throughout the year will remind you to review and amend your plan, so it continues to be the beating heart of your business.
Gill Frood is a freelance technology marketing professional with over 20 years of experience, specialising in demand generation for SMEs.
You can contact her via email firstname.lastname@example.org , connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @gillfrood
If you would like to find out how a bespoke CRM can support your Marketing Plan please contact me.