Every business starts with a marketing plan. Unfortunately, most of them begin with a plan full of good intentions, and then abandon that original document in favor of new ideas. But should you leave your initial marketing plan in some back corner of your computer, gathering digital dust?
The most effective marketing plans are living, breathing documents with the flexibility to change and grow along with your business. Instead of a forgotten blueprint, your marketing plan should serve as an evolving initiative.
How to resurrect a dead plan
If you have an established business, you’ve probably left your marketing plan long behind. What should you do to bring it back?
First, take a look at your existing plan, or create a new one if yours has vanished without a trace. A basic marketing plan will typically have seven sections: executive summary, company missions, marketing objectives, situational analysis, market segmentation, market strategies, and short- and long-term projections.
Some of this information has probably changed, so now is a good time to update your plan.
Once you have a solid, current document, here are some tips to keep it alive:
- Maintain visibility. A great marketing plan doesn’t do your company any good if no one knows what’s in it. Make sure everyone in your business has access to the marketing plan, so they can tailor their strategies toward achieving the goals.
- Measure daily. If your marketing plan isn’t working, you should make changes—but you can’t know if it’s working if you don’t measure the results. Run a quick daily assessment so you can stay on top of your plan’s effectiveness.
- Fine tune. Use your daily analysis to tweak your marketing plan and achieve the desired results.
Follow these steps, and you’ll have a useful marketing plan that’s actually working for your business, instead of wasting away in your archives.