I have been asked before why a company needs a Marketing Plan. After all, they’re only read by the person who writes it and those working in marketing, right?
Every person who has to fulfill marketing in their line of work (and that covers a huge number of people, including professional services, those who are self-employed or business owners, and those who want to make a name for themselves) should be aware of their company’s aims for marketing. Not necessarily where they want to advertise or what keywords they’re using on Google Adwords, but what their aims are as a business, what kind of customers they wish to attract, and how they want customers and those associated with the business to perceive them.
For me, it is the final part of that sentence which is most important. The perception of a business can be argued to be the most important part of the marketing process. Think of the following companies; MacDonalds, Gap, Cadburys, Primark. All of them instantly conjure up an instant image that you, and many others, will hold for them. It is the same for your business. Regardless of its size or what it does, people will hold a certain perception of what you stand for and what you do. If their perception is wrong, it is up to you to change it. Having a Plan which addresses this and takes positive steps to make those changes in perceived image is the first step – after all, if your success is likely to be blocked by an incorrect perception of you and/or your business, then you’ll be wasting your time from the outset.