Marketing Planning

Avoid embarrassing blunders and stress with a little bit of marketing planning

The basics of marketing planning is similar to any type of planning activity. And the effects of not having a well thought out plan in place are no different as well.  I was going abroad with my family but was too busy to organise anything until the last minute. I created utter chaos, shouted like a crazy woman and freaked out my family. All because I was too busy to make a list and a few calls.

A couple of weeks in advance of my holiday, I tried to book flights, only to find I had to pay hundreds of pounds more than my friends spent when they bought tickets weeks ago. But it was too late, I had no choice. With just days to spare I looked into hire cars. Again, they were double the price others paid.

I packed on the last day. In the rush, I forgot to print our boarding passes, leading to a mad panic on the eve of our trip. In the morning, the house was a mess, I was tired and stressed and the kids were bickering. We left an hour later than I’d hoped and wasted more time queuing at the petrol station. I didn’t pre-book the airport car park so had to pay full price and there was no time at the airport to eat so the kids wailed with hunger. Naturally, we were last in the queue at check in, so we all had to sit separately. Needless to say, we arrived at our destination with very little spending money, not to mention exhausted.

The second time I went abroad with the family, I made a list. Two, in fact: What to take and what needed to be done. I booked the flights months in advance and, by doing some research, I got a great deal. The same for car hire. Our passports were packed, documents printed and check-in complete long before departure. I packed days in advance. My list helped me finish my tasks on the final morning with military precision and we left for the airport on time, allowing leeway for holdups and plenty of time to get petrol. Our car park was pre-booked and there was time in the airport to feed the kids and get good seats on the plane. We arrived at our destination relaxed and in control.

The funny thing was, each individual task I completed to plan our holiday took very little of my time. I still met all of my work deadlines. Yet the difference it made to our journey was considerable.

On reflection, it’s obvious that leaving tasks until the last minute is stressful and results in costly mistakes. It’s the same for business.

A marketing plan is vital, so why would we leave it until the last minute?

Our budgets are forced to work harder and stretch further. We need time to research the market, the competition and most importantly, with our customers. It also takes time to engage the most efficient resources without making snap decisions and wasting money. We need time to plan a systematic approach to our tasks. We need a clear head to achieve our goals and meet our business objectives. We can’t let our competitors beat us to the finest resources, the stronger position in the market, the higher rating in the search engines. It would be careless to leave our plan for 2014’s marketing strategy until the last minute.

It’s time to start now.

We’ll look into different aspects of marketing planning.  If there is any particular area you’d like us to touch on, let us know and we’ll make sure we cover it.

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