The Importance of Having A Marketing Plan

Image of Samantha Legget, 360 Growth Partners Marketing Associate

“Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction”

– Kenichi Ohmae

It’s that time of year again for 360 Growth Partners, where we come together and plan for the future.  As part of our annual planning session, we discuss what marketing activity has worked over the past year, how things have changed and what can be improved.  Whilst our monthly marketing meetings focus on the data and tactics month by month, this is our opportunity to take a step back, review our overarching objectives, look ahead and plan accordingly.

In the rapidly changing and highly uncertain times of the past few years it feels like quite a treat to be doing some longer-term planning again. Although we are still not planning too far ahead it does feel like the right time to be re-focusing, re-setting, and re-imagining, so that is what we did when we got together at Ramside Hall for our Annual marketing review.

If, like us, you are considering the pro’s and con’s of taking valuable time out of your business to develop an annual marketing plan, here are some practical reasons why it might be a good idea:

 

1. Aligning marketing objectives with business goals

Taking yourself physically out of the business to focus on your marketing strategy and plans will help you to focus on the future and what you really want to achieve from all your hard work.  It is very easy to keep your head down in delivery mode without thinking too much about ‘why’ you are doing what you are doing.  Taking time out will help you to ensure everything you do is contributing to the overall success of your business.

 

2. Reviewing and analysing performance

This is an invaluable exercise; the data will help you develop insights as to what is delivering results and what is not so you can reflect, see any gaps and identify new and improved strategies moving forward.  This is all about making informed decisions for the year ahead.  Reflection helps us to learn from our experiences, avoid repeating mistakes and leads to continuous improvement, growth, and optimisation.

 

3. Looking into trends and new technologies

Marketing is a fast paced, ever-changing environment and there are always new tools, trends and ways to reach your target audiences.  Taking time out for annual marketing strategy development and planning will give you the opportunity to not only stay up to date with these trends but also do some research and help you to decide which ones are relevant for your business, industry, and audiences. This will help you to be innovative, stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive advantage.

 

4. Resourcing and budgets

To execute your marketing plan effectively you need to ensure you have the capability, resource allocation and funds available to implement your tactics.  Reviewing this at the same time as planning will help you to focus on what is really going to add to the bottom line and prioritise accordingly.  This means that you can focus on high-impact initiatives and invest in the right areas so that you get the most bang for your buck.

 

5. A considered and integrated plan

You will want to make sure that you are utilising the best channels, tactics and campaigns so that you are attracting your ideal client profile, engaging them and converting.  Taking time to think through your messaging, branding, and campaigns across various channels is time well spent.  It will enable you to deliver a consistent and compelling brand experience to your target audience.  Ensuring you stand out from the crowd, are front of mind and delivering the right messages at the right time to have impact and convince your prospects to buy.

 

Here at 360 Growth Partners, we are strong advocates of taking time out of the business to spend on the business and this is a great example of how doing so is a good investment of time and resources.

Remember, you only do this once a year and in doing so you can start your new financial year with confidence that your marketing activity is focused on delivering results for your business that are aligned with your overall business goals.

To help you translate your strategy into action, we’ve created this handy tactical marketing plan template that you can download for FREE! Simply click below to download now and get started:

Click to download your FREE Tactical Marketing Plan

If you would like to know more about 360 Growth Partners or how we could help you with your marketing planning, then please get in touch and let’s start the conversation.