Four Questions Your Marketing Plan Must Answer – 3: What Are Your Challenges?

This article is part of a continuing series on developing a marketing plan which will cover establishing your starting position, setting optimal goals, analyzing the challenges you’ll face, and developing strategies to achieve your objective.

After you’ve established the resources and fundamental components of your marketing efforts, you can begin setting your goals for growth.

Your plan should forecast your future movement by analyzing historical trends both internally within the company and externally within the larger market.

It should help you look ahead and create a practical estimation of where your company is going, both in terms of typical balance sheet information like budgets, sales, and return on marketing investment, as well as how you expect your overall strategy to evolve in response to market changes.

Goals and Performance

It’s a fundamental truth in all planning and managing activities that purpose can lead to action. A well developed action plan guides, and motivates, and breaks complicated and difficult tasks into attainable (but still ambitious) steps.

Each goal should be supported by specific objectives that lead from one to another, drawing a nearly linear path to the finish line through measureable achievements.

Some goals are tied to soft metrics such as:

  • Build a favorable business image
  • Repair a tarnished reputation
  • Raise customer awareness

Others are mapped to more concrete metrics:

  • Increase your client base by 15% in the next three months
  • Put in place a new promotion with the expectation of increasing your market share by 10%

Invariably, there will need to be adjustments and course corrections made along the way, and every goal should be mapped to incremental achievements that can be monitored and quantified.

With goals in place, it’s time to get serious about putting theory into practice. In the next post in this series we’ll discuss situational analysis and other means of understanding the internal and external threats and opportunities you’ll face.

Are you examining your marketing process at every meaningful level? Try our Full Funnel Marketing Tool today and learn how to set the right goals for your brand.