As obvious as it may seem–in my experience in radio advertising, I was always surprised how many small business owners never had an actual marketing plan.
It seemed like they were always shooting from the hip, when it came to their advertising.
In today’s podcast, John D. Verlin discusses five key reasons it’s important for every business to have a marketing plan.
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Marketing Your Business; 5 Key Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Marketing Plan, Podcast #40
Host: John D. Verlin
Solutions another Digital Marketing Update this is our 40th podcast.
I started this business February f 2017, here it is mid November of 2017 and boy I’ve
been averaging I guess one of these a week try to at least.
I hope you’re getting something from them. Love to hear from you if you have
any questions or comments or anything– JohnVerlin12@att.net is the email address of
course you can go to On Demand Advertising Solutions.com for the website.
Today I want to talk about something that you know when I was in radio for thirty plus
years it always amazed me how many businesses I talked to that didn’t have a real plan
for what they were gonna do for their marketing or their advertising.
And so today I want to talk to you about five reasons your business needs a marketing
Now I would think just like a financial plan particularly if you go to get a loan from a
bank you know you’ve got to have a business plan and financials and projections and all
sorts of things.
You would think a business would have a marketing plan as part of those documents
that you would need to run a business or to start a business or review for the next year.
But again I’m really surprised how many particularly small businesses don’t even have one.
They kind of shoot from the hip. That kind of shocks me a little bit I guess.
But there’s several reasons why you need to have a document. First of all, it’s a strategic document.
This is like I say it’s like a financial plan only it’s for your marketing you got to kind of
have an idea of your customer.
Your positives, your weak spot your competitor, your competition.
What they’re doing, what they’re doing differently or not and so really one of the biggest
benefits of having this is that you can focus your resources and plan for your business
That is very big. I mean you’ve got to have something like a yardstick and this of
course helps you understand different factors that may affect your success.
So instead of worrying about okay what about next year?
You can actually kind of have a sense of of control over your business and livelihood. I
know what that feels like.
I’ve planned my own and it does give you a sense of empowerment because you’ve got
something in writing that you can refer to and check off as you go.
Now you’re gonna be tweaking it but it gives you some place to measure as a starting
point and to continue to measure from it will help you.
By doing this by writing this and in research, your marketing plan
can give you the chance to basically identify your target market.
And understand how your product or your service can meet the needs of your prospects
in that target market.
It can identify your competitors and what your target customers think about your
competitors strengths and weaknesses pros and cons. This doesn’t have to be elaborate.
This could be a survey. A verbal survey of Chamber of Commerce associates or you
take a group survey of people at your church that might buy your product and
get their feedback.
It’s really important to do this because I have seen this happen in a
an online survey where every answer the majority of people that took the survey gave
was just the opposite of the business I worked with management what they thought it
Complete opposite and you’re like whoa we didn’t do our homework you
know. So it identified your competitors and what the customers prospects may think
about them the good and bad it can help you position your brand, your products and
So that your target market sees your business as better than or different
from the competition.
It can help you set specific measurable goals, time frames for your
Kind of like a project manager so to speak. Help you map out a
strategy to reach your target audience including the messages to use. You know there’s a
lot of web-based tools today you can use and this will help you in planning what to
use how much it might cost.
That sort of thing–and again it gives you the second
point I want to make. Besides being a very important document to have.
You don’t just throw this thing away and put it in a bottom drawer. You keep it as
a guideline, a measuring yardstick.
It gives you control of your business as we just mentioned. It allows
you to allocate your resources and your budget too.
If you have some employees to motivate them that you can spell out the vision of where
this is all going.
That is empowering. They can see where their ads or your ads are going to be placed and
they can even be a part of all that to help develop them.
Yeah we’re gonna put these on Facebook, some magazines locally. We’re gonna do some
They can be a part of this.
That’s really important if you do have employees or a partner or spouse they need to be
in part a part of this a marketing plan.
Written down, this document helps them feel like they’re a part of everything and they
should be just like any other plan you write down.
You know you’re gonna succeed or you’re all gonna fail together.
It allows you to manage performance of each member of your staff,
and the efforts.
How are we on this you know. These things can be dramatic but again if
you don’t have it just like a financial plan if you don’t have it written down and planned
out you don’t know what you’re doing. Or you have nothing to measure against.
So, second point is a marketing plan gives you control of your business.
The third point is it’s important to have a marketing plan but also keeping it up to date.
Again, it’s going to zigzag based on the market environments. If there’s a stock market crash.
If there’s a war breakout or a political turmoil or something happens that could affect
your business. You have to adjust. That’s okay. You know what?
Business is down 20% this month. We’re gonna have to cut some things here.
That document gives you and that plan gives you a map a road map of where to go
and alternate because you already know where you came from. I if you don’t know
your history I forgot who said this but I guess I think it was in Glengarry Glen Ross.
If you don’t know your history, you know how are you gonna go forward and make changes.
So it’s important to keep that up to date as the business grows and changes. And it gives
you a reminder to update it annually just like a financial plan or insurance policy.
Perhaps you do an annual review. Okay we did this. We did that. This worked.
This didn’t. Let’s review and everybody can be a part of it.
So that’s the third point is you got to keep it up-to-date.
Change it adjust it. Fourth point I want to make is marketing plans are not just
for some big corporation they’re for small businesses.
Because without customers your business won’t survive.
To attract and retain customers you need to understand the value of marketing.
People are unlikely just to wander into your business and buy something if they don’t
know who you are what you’re selling and why they should choose you over your
And again, I mentioned this earlier but a lot of small businesses I worked with and radio
advertising did not see the value of marketing.
They didn’t understand the importance of it. and I was shocked. And the reason I was
shocked was, I’d say–well okay so what are you gonna be doing?
Well, we’re gonna try Direct Mail and got to do my Yellow Pages and they put twenty
thousand aside for Yellow Pages for a year.
Well, what about your other stuff? that’s a directory listing.
What happens if nobody sees it or what about next month? How are you going to call
attention to the fact that you have a yellow page ad? Hmm, well I hadn’t really. I just
assumed they would look. That’s a big assumption.
Why do you have to be in there to begin with?
Well my my competitions there I got to be there.
So they felt they had to do it and that today you don’t see that.
You see it it’s all online. So the shift into this online. Again I’ve talked
about this in another podcast but this shift in all this online marketing stuff.
Yeah your competitors are there.
Everybody’s there and they’re all over the world.
You know, they’re there in San Diego or Chicago in New York or whatever not just in
Hoboken New Jersey.
That’s a whole another discussion about competition ruling online–pushing you
aside because of budgets, content, whatever. So it’s much more than just fancy
advertising and spending a lot of money.
It’s it’s a lot more than just advertising and sales and it needs to be taken seriously. So
if you’re considering all this for your business take it seriously.
Otherwise, six months from now, a year from now, you may not be here.
Because you didn’t plan. I’m not trying to talk down or anything but these need to be
taken seriously. And it business unique.
It’s building your brand and it’s crucial to building your business. Some of the questions
you again have to consider to build a foundation of both your business and your
brand. So what are the needs of my customers, my target customers?
How do the competitors meet the needs of those target customers?
How can your business or you help your target customers understand why
your product or service is better than from the competition?
And once you’ve considered these questions in putting together a business plan with
the marketing plan. These are marketing fundamentals basically.
Once you’ve addressed these points, you’ve made the first steps in building a successful
business and brand.
Again, it needs to be taken
seriously and written down and adjusted. John Verlin,
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great week.
All podcasts are recorded by Verlin Studios / Gardner, Kansas
Copyright, John D. Verlin 2017