It is important for a marketing plan to:
- Set clear, realistic and measurable targets - for example, increasing sales by 10 per cent
- Include deadlines for meeting targets
- Provide a budget for each marketing activity
- Specify who is responsible for each activity
Make sure you think through each of your objectives logically. For example, you might set a target for the number of new enquiries. But if you don't provide the resources and training to follow up these enquiries and turn them into sales, you will have increased costs without any benefits.
Link to your strategy
Assess the business environment to identify the opportunities and threats that you face. Look for where you can capitalise on your strengths or where you need to overcome a weakness.
All parts of your business must work together. For example, if you have limited cashflow you should avoid seeking large orders from customers who demand extended credit or that will involve you in heavy, up-front costs.
Remember to focus on your long-term strategy. Reducing customer service might boost short-term profits, but next year you might not have any customers left.
Make it happen
A plan will not happen by itself. You need to make someone responsible for monitoring progress and chasing up overdue activities. Reviewing progress will also help you learn from your mistakes so that you can improve your plans for the future.