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

This series of articles has covered a lot of ground. We’ve discussed the importance of getting a firm grasp on your starting positionsetting ambitious goals and achievable objectives, and doing the hard work of situational analysis to scan the road ahead for obstacles and optimal paths.

Next, you need to determine what exactly it will take to overcome your challenges and get to your destination. This includes developing the promotional strategies you will leverage and the incremental tactics you will utilize, such as:

  • Traditional Advertising
  • Digital Outreach
  • Direct Marketing
  • Training Programs
  • Public Relations Planning
  • Experiential and Event Marketing

All plans should align with the objectives you laid out earlier. If you want to increase sales, a corresponding increase in sales people might be necessary, but you will also need to improve the effectiveness of your team by supporting them with essential marketing tools to help inform and educate their audience. If you are rolling out a new service that is very different from your previous offering, you will likely need to invest in training for your existing staff and a thorough awareness campaign to announce the new offering.

Timing is also a crucial component here. All planned activities should fit into a well thought out timetable that you can monitor at set points throughout the year.

Make it Attainable

A well developed marketing plan is composed of many components, but ends up being greater than the sum of its parts. It is clear and unambiguous in describing where you are now, where you intend to go, and how you expect to get there. It must fully consider the challenges ahead and allow for contingency planning so that you can quantify where you need to be at set points in time, and monitor and adjust if you aren’t hitting your targets. Your forecasts and goals should always be realistic. There is no benefit to lofty goals that can’t be supported by attainable objectives.

A great marketing plan is an essential tool. When you’ve built it on a strong foundation, backed by hard won insights, it can be the difference between success and failure.

Find the tools you need to keep your brand moving forward in our Blueprint for Successful Branding today.