I remember as a kid growing up in the Broken Hill out in the bush and watching 1980’s Christian TV ads where an impassioned preacher was delivering his sermon and hollered to the congregation:
“If you are FAILING to plan, you are PLANNING to FAIL …”
These ads have stuck in my memory for over thirty years which suggests:
a) They were very effective ads
b) The message was worth remembering.
So, as we start the New Year, refreshed with energy and optimism for the New Year ahead of us, what plans do you have?
There is never a bad time to undertake strategic marketing planning – but the start of the year is a great time to think anew about the business you would like to create this calendar year.
The Benefits of Strategic Marketing Planning
The benefits of strategic planning include:
1. Clarity of purpose –“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”. (Lewis Carroll)
2. Vision – where would you like your business to be?
3. Encourages goal-setting – breaking down the vision into smaller goals or objectives makes climbing the mountain much easier.
4. Identifies a process and marketing strategy to achieve end goals
5. Identifies actions needed achieve your goals and to turn your vision from a concept to reality.
6. Provides the platform to assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis).
a. You can harness your strengths to maximise outcomes,
b. work on your weaknesses (don’t worry, we all have them!)
c. Tune your mind away from everyday operations and into opportunities for growth, and to shore up your defences against any competitive threats.
7. Gives you a feeling of calm and confidence that you know where you are headed, and how you are going to get there.
Why We Don’t Strategically Plan Often Enough
There are many reasons why don’t engage in strategic planning. Here are just a few:
1. Initially, it is not easy. It involves some serious introspection and personal/business review. It often requires us to ask the hard questions of ourselves and our businesses that he have otherwise adopted an ‘avoidance strategy’ for;
2. It can be difficult to know where to start. If you are feeling this, remember to “eat the elephant one bite at a time”.
3. You don’t have the time. This is a classic hurdle for strategic marketing planning. So often we are up to our neck in the tasks we have to do working in the business, we can’t possibly imagine having time for working on our business … Make the time – it is too important not to.
4. Strategic planning might not be in your skill set. That’s ok, no-one is the master of all skills. If this is the case for you, then get a strategy consultant in to run the process for you. Even if your business spent $10,000 on the strategist, I am very confident you would recoup the fee many times over throughout the year. Possibly ten times over . . .
Well, there is a brief overview of the importance of strategic marketing planning. I am sure you will agree that it is vital to setting your business on the right path to achieving the best business you can have.
So, what are your plans?