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A Marketing Plan Can Help Your Business Grow

A Marketing Plan Can Help Your Business GrowIn today’s highly competitive business environment, marketing strategies and tactics can be the difference in whether your enterprise reaches the growth and success you envision.

Many businesses, small and large, work on the premise that all they need is a sales staff to move their product or services. In fact, sales go together with a marketing plan.

“It’s hard to reach your marketing objectives without a well-thought-out marketing plan,” said Patty Johnson, president of RSPR Marketing + Communications. “Of course, many think these days all you need is a viral TikTok® video! However, a business looking for longevity of brand requires a plan that defines objectives and lays out the tools and techniques needed to get there. Without it, one is likely to be throwing money here and there in hopes of doing some good – or not spending enough money to get the desired result.”

Patty explains the primary elements in a plan include…

  • a budget (how much can you afford to spend or need to spend to reach your goals).
  • the target audiences and geographic areas to be reached.
  • the media and marketing tools to use to reach those audiences.
  • identifying capable people to implement the plan.

A marketing plan usually includes a mix of advertising and public relations. For smaller companies, public relations may be more effective for direct communication with a targeted audience.

“Public relations is much more important when launching a new product or service because its news value makes it attractive to the media and its audience,” Patty said. “It’s a one-time opportunity to generate free publicity. News or information that is generated by a news release is usually viewed as more credible than advertising because a media outlet is giving free space or airtime to a story about your company. Advertising can follow to keep the product or service in the public eye.”

Patty added that a marketing plan is fluid and may need to be adjusted based on a variety of criteria. “Marketing plans change as successes are measured, as new opportunities surface, as production or manpower problems arise, as sales are not – or are above – what was expected, and so on.  Review marketing plans every few months or more frequently and adjust, when necessary,” she said.

It’s also important to monitor and evaluate expenditures frequently and not wait until year-end to find out that money wasn’t spent wisely. “If one tactic is working well, more money may be allocated to that, while taking away from another that is less successful,” said Patty. “Brainstorm with the sales and marketing team to target additional customer pipelines or audiences. Marketplaces change, so you need to be fluid and adaptable.”

Is it wise to do a marketing plan yourself? Patty said you can, as you may feel you are the most capable due to your knowledge of your business. “However, hiring a marketing professional will allow you to focus on business operations and ensure, news releases are written in the proper format, that ads are grammatically correct and written to get attention, and that blogs are interesting and informative,” she said. “Another key element is to identify and work with the appropriate media. In most cases, the business owner gets a better return on investment leaving this to communication professionals.”

Patty concluded that “your marketing plan is working if you reach the objectives you set out to attain. It’s working if you are getting the sales, leads, and exposure you outlined in advance – or more!”