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The Importance of a Marketing Plan

January 9, 2017

Do you have a marketing plan in place?

As a business owner or marketing exec, you’ve already created a strategic marketing plan for the New Year. You’ve researched future growth opportunities for your organization and spent countless hours discussing processes, programs and pilgrimages that could have been more successful in 2016. What went wrong? What could have we done differently? Looking to the future, how do we make our product or services better, bigger and more impactful for 2017?

Any marketing consultant will tell you “every successful business has a strategic marketing plan.” I mean, most of you have a business plan that does a pretty good job outlining each division of your company, rationalizing resources, engaging clients and so forth. But, what is your strategic marketing plan, a plan used by management, operations and sales? How are you going to communicate all of those great ideas to your clients?  If you want a steady flow of business for your organization, it’s imperative that you create a marketing plan and stick to it.

First, set realistic goals. You can figure out what those realistic goals are by mulling over what you may have done wrong in 2016. Did you set unrealistic expectations at this time last year and they were never met? We tell grade school children to “learn from their mistakes”, and with any successful marketing plan, it’s important to start that planning at the most fundamental of levels. For example, you want to improve your social media marketing. Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the social media platforms like Snapchat and Vine. If you aren’t doing a good job managing and maintaining your Facebook page, work on improving your reach there before you jump onto the next, latest craze.  Performing on one platform well is much better than having 6 different accounts that are hardly maintained.

Next, it’s time to face reality: the Internet is here to stay. We are sorry if this is news to you. You see, if you don’t have an online presence and you’re still relying on old school marketing tactics, your customer base (and reach) will continue to shrink. People don’t reach for the phone book anymore to find a plumber, dentist or dog groomer.  Not only do consumers look for places and businesses online, they reach for their smartphones and tablets. Your website needs to have proper search terms (so customers can find you) as well as responsive web design. Don’t know what that means? Make sure 2017 is the year you find out.

It’s also important to do good things in your community. Make a difference. Support a cause. Know what else? Share that with your followers, your customers, and the community in which you work and live. Sharing doesn’t mean you are “tooting your horn”. Instead, it is another way of adding credentials to your organization and it shows that you do indeed care about the world around you. It also gives you an opportunity to help the cause you support and spread the word about their initiative.

Being successful is not always about new business and making money…it’s also about the employees you hire and inspiring others to contribute to causes that they believe in, whether it’s inside the office walls or beyond. Press releases about what you’re doing, media alerts and event sponsorships are other strategic marketing practices that can optimize your success in the year ahead.  

Cork Tree Creative, Inc. is fortunate to have a variety of clients with diverse marketing needs. Some clients come to us to plan an event, others ask us to write blogs for them. We’ve designed more websites than we can count and have successfully managed social media programs for businesses large and small. Many think of us as an extension of their staff, and that’s the way we like it. If you have questions about how you can make 2017 the best year yet, we’d love to help. Give us a call at 618-656-7333. Oh and don’t worry; we’ll help you do it and do it well indeed!