We’ve all been there. Hours spent discussing, researching, writing and indeed admiring a wonderfully crafted marketing plan. But 2 years on, how’s it going? Chances are the enthusiastic focus in those early months has given way to a bustling sales environment. When things get busy or when a marketing campaign just doesn’t work, it can be tempting to abandon the plan altogether. But what about your brand, your customers, your competitors, your future?
Here we look at 4 things you can do to keep on track:
1 Be inspired by your vision, every day
Our minds are our greatest asset. There is no substitute for the power of belief. When you clearly see the big picture, obstacles that might have caused chaos, often appear less challenging and more manageable. Focusing daily on your vision is one of the most inexpensive and profitable investments you’ll ever make in yourself.
2 Know Your Customer, every day
Stay close to your ideal customer and become an expert. While this takes time and effort, the more you integrate it into your regular schedule the easier it is. Stay on top of the news, anticipate how your customer will be affected by changes in the business environment. Take every opportunity to network and read online community forums – there is no better access to customer sentiment. In the Business 2 Business market, read your customer’s trade magazine and be part of related business associations. These are great ways to keep sharp about the things that matter to your ideal customer.
3 Know Your Competition, every day
If your customer stops thinking that you offer a competitive advantage in addressing their needs, you lose and the competition wins. Don’t be the last to know what your competition is doing.
4 Your Positioning, today
If you stay in touch with your vision, your customers and your competition, you’ll know when it’s time to alter your campaign, tweak your message, and develop your proposition based on your customer’s needs. Ask yourself, “Is my unique selling proposition still unique? Does anyone else do it better? What one thing can I do to serve my clients better?” Stay unique and stay relevant.
But how to maintain this focus?
When you look at your goals, ask yourself how and what you can do to achieve them and most importantly, focus on one marketing project at a time – one of the greatest mistakes people make in setting goals is trying to work on too many things at one time. There’s tremendous power in giving focused attention to just one idea, one project, or one objective at a time.
Keeping in touch with your business and marketing goals, ensures you are doing the right things in the right way, gives a sense of control over your business direction and will significantly contribute to the future success of your business.
Article extracted from Robert W. Bly’s ‘The Marketing Plan Handbook’