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Why a marketing plan is a must

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It’s the beginning of the year and a marketing plan is an essential business tool to develop. It is a map, to guide you towards your business goals. What I have seen from business owners who don’t have marketing plans is that they are all over the place, doing everything and anything to get their business out there and in the process they waste a lot of money on tactics that don’t work for their business type. They also don’t take time to have a strategy in place before they execute their tactics.

Strategic Document
I remember when I first started working in a busy marketing department at the BBC almost 20 years ago. I remember the Head of Marketing at the time Kate Evans, asking the team some very strategic marketing questions. ‘Where are we NOW?  Where are we going? How are we going to get there? How will we know we have achieved it?  These questions stuck in my head throughout my time at the BBC and beyond and opened my mind to a new way of thinking strategically in business.

You can see from above questions that a marketing plan sets the direction and objectives of the business. It makes both the owners and staff look at the business in a more strategic way rather than just taking action.

Keeps Business Focused
A marketing plan helps a business to focuses on the 4 P’s which is Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Being focused helps you identify what you want to do and when you need to do it by. A business will need to establish who their target audience is and what is their competitive edge? These will need to be communicated in all marketing outputs. With regards to pricing, an in-depth research will be required to make sure you fix your prices accordingly and showcase the value of your products.

Makes You Plan Wisely
Customers don’t necessarily buy because the price is cheaper. Buying is a mixture of logic and emotion. So you will need to take that into account with price planning and positioning.
For the promotion aspect of your product, you need to have a positioning and packaging strategy in place, along with ways in which you will promote your products or services. An advertising strategy is required for success and finally a social media strategy is really essential.

Great Investment Tool
Developing a marketing plan requires research, time and commitment, but is a very valuable resource that can greatly contribute to your business success. Remember that your marketing plan should remain an ongoing process throughout the life of your business and not a one off document that you file in your draw.

Rita Okoye is the CEO of Majestically Rare Events & Marketing and runs a successfully monthly workshop called High Impact Business Growth. She is also the founder of an NGO called Raising Confident Girls.

She can be reached on 0806 0004489 or rita@majesticallyrare.com


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