A recent Manta poll found that almost half of small business owners do not have a formal marketing plan. Yet, careful attention to marketing can be critical to your small business’ success.
According to a Manta poll of 1,115 small business owners, less than half (49 percent) have devised a formal marketing plan — a detailed strategy that can reveal target customers, key marketing channels and local reach. Lack of budget (51 percent), knowledge (18 percent) and time to dedicate to marketing (15 percent) are among small business owners’ top barriers to crafting a marketing strategy.
The plan is nothing, planning is everything. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
If you’re awake and breathing, it’s obvious we’re living in an unprecedented time of innovation and distributive power. Depending on the type of business or marketing you run, good planning may be smarter than making a plan.
The marketing planning process itself will force you to ask yourself tough questions, questions you may not have an answer to, questions you should be asking but never think about. Whether you’re launching a new startup company or looking for quick ways to revamp your organization marketing efforts, a solid marketing plan and/or planning process can make the difference between treading water and achieving exponential growth.
A successful and effective marketing plan incorporates two essential elements:
- Knowing the market inside and out, including what customers believe, the story they tell themselves, and what they expect
- Knowing the way to satisfy customers by knowing competitors, barriers to entry, costs, outside influences, budgets, knowledge, etc.
Knowing Your Business + Knowing The Market
Armed with this knowledge, you can develop the necessary marketing strategies that will allow you to attract, obtain, and keep customers.