The importance of a clear marketing plan for small businesses


For entrepreneurs new to the world of marketing, common buzzwords and phrases surrounding themes such as social media, digital content or the dreaded search engine optimisation (SEO) may seem daunting. A clear and achievable marketing plan is absolutely vital to the success of a small business, however, and need not be complicated.

Whether you decide to hire marketing professionals or go it alone, the following tips highlight the importance of a small business marketing plan:

1. Good planning helps target customers and improve receptivity

One of the golden (and, sadly, overlooked) rules of successful marketing is to accurately define your target audience. Understanding the needs and desires of your target demographic will help you tremendously when you’re drawing up plans to market and advertise your services, as well as help you to pick and choose your marketing channels more wisely.

If you’re a company that markets products towards an older demographic, for example, it may be beneficial to avoid spending too much time on social media channels that they rarely use. If you’re hoping to appeal to a younger demographic, the opposite may be true.

The best way that you can understand your audience, is to create established customer profiles. Not only are they a great way to think more actively about your customers and their needs, they align your team (or future team!) and enable everyone to sing off the same hymn sheet.

2. Understanding the marketing landscape promises better returns and efficiency


Once you know who your audience is, it is important that you consider the various ways in which they can be reached. This could include:

• Content marketing (blog posts, podcasts, videos etc)

• Social media (networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)

• Search engine marketing (understanding how to increase your visibility in search engines)

• Public relations (knowing how to generate good publicity around your brand)

• Advertising (including pay-per-click advertising on search engines)

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into a comprehensive marketing plan. However, it is not necessary to put the same amount of effort into every strategy. Understanding the various methods you can use to market you business, as well as planning out how much time you should spend on each, will optimise your marketing strategy considerably.

3. A plan is a tool with which to measure success

Strategies and itineraries rarely go to plan, but this does not have to be a bad thing. Setting out a plan allows you to measure what went well over a given period of time, as well as what did not go so well, and provides a wealth of information about how to improve your marketing strategy in the future.

4. Accountability

If there’s no plan in place, there’s no specific milestones or goals. Without those, how can you hold yourself and others accountable?

By having a clear plan, you not only hold yourselves to account, you provide a timetable in which to achieve your goals or complete tasks, which in turn enables you to set the smaller milestones you need to reach to achieve them.

We could talk all day about the benefits of having a clear plan in place, it is THAT important. If you’re one of the 50% or more of businesses that don’t have a marketing plan in place, or aren’t content your existing plan is appropriate, give us a shout! We’re always more than happy to lend an ear and provide some feedback, without any expectation or obligation.

Jack Barron, Director

Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. As Director of Invoke Media, he is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of every campaign, getting stuck into the execution of successful at every opportunity.

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