There are certainly many reasons a marketing plan needs to be laid to rest, but more importantly is how your company will resurrect a new one after the dust settles.
Learning from your marketing mistakes is the perfect way to avoid repeating them, but only if your company is aware of those mistakes to begin with.
So, what are some of the common reasons behind failed marketing plans and what are some tips to keep in mind the second time around?
A marketing plan without a sound marketing strategy is just bad planning. If your company doesn’t concentrate all of its resources on present opportunities, there’s just no way marketing efforts will continue to sustain or even be effective to begin with.
Here are just a few aspects of a poor marketing plan that lacks strategy:
No Planned Outcomes – The point of a marketing plan is setting forth big-picture objectives and, here’s the kicker, actually achieving those objectives. Viral campaigns, email marketing, and online advertising are all great, but if you don’t know what you want from these strategies, you won’t properly implement them.
The Numbers Game – Data is a great indicator of trends and demographics, but customers are not made of numbers. Companies that rely too heavily on playing the numbers game with their marketing plan aren’t proactively strategizing. So, do some statistical research, track relative data, and then move on to more pertinent details like how the marketing plan relates to the actual business plan.
In Relation to the Business Plan – A marketing plan with a strategy that doesn’t fall in-line with your business plan is a mistake. In terms of budget alone, your marketing plan is a business investment and if that investment isn’t within the businesses overall projected budget, then your marketing efforts are futile and need to be revamped. Business and marketing goals, objectives, and values should be one in the same.
Time for a Change
If your business has given its marketing plan everything only to receive nothing in return, starting from scratch with a new plan is probably the best bet. Yes, it’s daunting, but when done correctly, it can also be wildly effective.
Here are some very basic elements at the core of every great marketing plan:
Reality Check – If your marketing plan isn’t realistic with its expectations, then your business is setting itself up for failure. So, do a reality check, look at the possibilities, and aim for the middle ground in terms of results.
Focus is everything – Staying focused on the task at hand is crucial for your marketing plan. Niche markets pop up every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to immediately account for them with your marketing efforts.
Clarity is King – Ambiguity only results in confusion, so be clear with every statement in your marketing plan. This is especially true with objectives; desired percentages are motivating, but they have to be accompanied by the ways in which you’ll achieve those numbers.
Put it to Good Use – Once your business has an agreed upon marketing plan, put it to good use by actually following it. Make your marketing plan a working document in order for it to be effective.
Whether your business is large, small, or still finding its size, it’s important to keep in mind that just because your initial marketing plan didn’t pass the test, it doesn’t mean your next one has to follow suit.