Module 2: Why Do You Need a Marketing Plan?

There are many benefits to creating and maintaining a working marketing plan. Once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. 

If You Want to Get Somewhere, You Need a Roadmap

It’s often said that all who wander are not lost.

And it’s true. Having an open mind to what’s possible and new terrain is key when it comes to creativity, innovation, and developing your marketing skills. 

But where wandering is less useful is when it comes to consistent, dependable results. And, if you are like most service providers, you’re depending on your marketing campaigns to actually deliver.

To drive this home, consider these specific reasons why a good marketing plan is so essential.

Reason #1: Achieving Your Business Goals

If you have a good marketing plan in place, it’s easy to alter your marketing strategy and tactics when required. Every market and industry changes, and you may have to tweak your strategy in order to keep up with these changes.

With a solid marketing plan, you can also more easily evaluate new opportunities that emerge. A marketing plan allows you to shift your strategy accordingly and stay on track toward your business goals.

This flexibility is important to keep at the top of your mind. Your marketing plan is just that: a plan. When strategies don’t pan out or someone develops a promising, well-grounded tactic, you can adjust a crystal clear plan accordingly with your goals in mind. That’s much more effective than muddling through changing circumstances. 

Reason #2: A Rallying Point for Your Business

Like your business plan, a marketing plan keeps everyone on the same page. New employees can use the marketing plan to take in your strategy at a glance. The same goes for new business partners and investors. You can easily see where you’ve been, where you are now and where you’re going.

Your marketing plan also offers a rallying point for those involved, including your employees and investors. A good map inspires the crew of your ship and gives them faith in their captain. They can easily understand what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re trying to achieve it.

Reason #3: Opportunities for Reflection

When you get the marketing ideas inside your head onto paper, you have a chance to see them with a fresh perspective. With everything clearly spelled out, you may notice gaps or weaknesses in your plan that you hadn’t noticed before.

Your marketing plan gives you a view of the big picture, and thus more control over your business’s marketing. It’s absolutely essential for any type of business, whether large or small. So, let’s get started writing your marketing plan.

Getting Started - Action Steps for Your Next Coffee Break

Start your Marketing Plan by using the worksheet provided to list your long-term and short-term business goals.

If you don’t already have business goals, think of them in terms of revenue, costs, operations, and overall business growth. You’ll be identifying the marketing strategies you want to use as part of achieving those goals a little later in this course.

Ready for a deeper dive? Explore the resource below!

When you are ready to really dig into this stuff, remember that there’s a real mix of marketing advice out there. Some of it’s awesome, some of it’s half-baked, lots of it is outdated, and a whole lot of it is designed to help sell products, not professionals services.

We’ve filtered through the best of what is available to provide you with actionable advice in our Deep Dive recommendations that are from the most trusted resources and are designed specifically to promote professional practices like yours.

Deeper Dive Recommendation: Entrepeneur.com's Successful Marketing Plans Leave Room for Flexibility

As we touched on above, it’s important to remember that your marketing plan does not need to be set in stone.

Or, as Forbes put it in an article we recommend reading

“This is your marketing plan, not the Declaration of Independence.” – Jim Joseph

You can dig into why flexibility is so important and how to bake it into your marketing plan in the full article here.

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