I recently had the pleasure of leading a discussion at the Connected Women of Influence’s Women Owner’s Summit on Marketing “GPS” and the importance of planning when it comes to marketing.
Having a solid Marketing Plan – what I like to call a Marketing Roadmap – is a topic that I am very passionate about.
Too often, it gets overlooked by small businesses. They don’t have the time. They deem it unnecessary. They don’t know where to start.
But, whether it’s you on your own or you have a team of many, having a plan in place is important.
Marketing is a lot like driving.
For most people, when we are going someplace new the first thing we do when we get into our cars these days is type the address into our GPS. Or, at the very least, do a Mapquest before heading out.
Why? Well, because we don’t want to get lost.
We could guess, I mean if we had a general sense of where we were going, if we’d been to the location once a long time ago… we could just start driving. But we might take the wrong exit, miss a turn, hit a ton of traffic….
And while we’d probably eventually get to where we’re going, it will take a lot longer than planned and come with a lot of aggravation and headache.
Throughout my career, the big difference I’ve noticed between those companies that succeed and those that constantly hit a wall doesn’t have to do with the size of the company. It doesn’t have to do with the size of their budget.
The directions they use to determine the path they will take to reach their destination.
Because without a plan you wind up just throwing money at random tools and tactics in order to plug a whole in the damn. Or falling victim to the shiny object syndrome and chasing one idea after another based on an article you read somewhere or because a colleague said it worked for them. Without a plan for how to get from point A to point Z you just sort of wander and never really get anywhere.
That’s why having a roadmap – Marketing “GPS” – is so important.
Developing Your Marketing “GPS”
Gather the data: Who are your customers? How did they hear about you? What products/services are they using most? Make sure you have analytics (such as Google Analytics) installed on every page of your website to find out where visitors are coming from and how they interact with your site.
Develop a plan: Great marketing starts with a great plan. Whether you are a business of 1 or 1,000, having a clearly defined strategy and goals in place will help you focus your time and resources on areas that are most likely to resonate with your audience—helping you get from point A to point Z faster and more effectively.
Celebrate success! When you know where you are… When you know where you’re going… When you have a plan to get there…. You set yourself up to meet your goals and to achieve success.
Building Your Marketing Foundation
Your Marketing Plan serves as a foundation for all of your marketing efforts. And really, everything you do in business.
It is a comprehensive document that identifies your audience, clarifies your goals and objectives, and focuses your resources and budget on the mix of marketing activities that make the most sense for you and your business.
And whether you put together a 10-page document outlining every detail, or jot it down on the ever-faithful cocktail napkin, taking the time to write things down brings about clarity of thought and purpose. It holds use accountable. And it helps make sure all team members are on the same page.
Stop guessing with your marketing. Taking too many wrong turns. Missing all the right exits.
Develop a roadmap. Your Marketing “GPS”!
Have a Question?
Reach out, I’d be happy to help!