The Challenges Associated with Developing Marketing Plans
For any business, the development of an effective marketing plan is one of the most crucial processes that takes place each year. A high quality plan specifically targets customers that will bring a high ROI, while avoiding those that will command large amounts of resources without return. The smallest oversight in a marketing plan can bring drastic consequences. There are many challenges that companies face when developing an annual marketing plan.
Marketing Plan Challenges
Determining the basic obstacles or challenges surrounding a marketing plan initiative is the first step in strategizing to avoid difficulties. Challenges can depend on B2B vs. B2C initiatives, company age and other factors. A few of the primary challenges include:
- Brand identity. For new companies, it is crucial to determine a brand identity. This may include discussions about company culture and brand persona. Older companies will need to maintain brand consistency or, in some cases, reevaluate brand identity for incongruence.
- Target marketing. Startups will need to make definitive choices about the demographic persona suitable for the product or service provided. This will inform how best to reach that targeted subset population. Growing or seasoned companies often need to retarget to introduce new products or increase traffic.
- Pricing. Pricing is a major determiner of revenue, traffic and advertising initiatives. Knowing competitor prices is not enough to indicate appropriate pricing for products and services. Promotional pricing and sales should account for seasonal fluctuations and exposure.
- Goals. Companies often focus too much of their attention on revenue goals but may make greater strides as a company by focusing on goal sets such as internal processes, employee retention, or reputation.
Seeing the potential challenges to developing a marketing plan can help personnel anticipate how to handle them and identify what to avoid in development.
What to Avoid When Developing a Marketing Plan
Mistakes are often made in the development of a marketing plan. Missteps can be avoided by considering best practices or trusting a professional. Consider the following “don’ts”:
Use it and Lose it – All too often, marketing plans are seen as disposable or expiring. Using one marketing plan and tweaking it year to year for a new version may be more beneficial.
Misled priorities – Businesses focus on the wrong things all the time. Focusing with too much concentration on revenue or traffic can cause companies to overlook the real problems.
Lack of commitment – Understandably, company personnel working on a marketing plan usually have a week’s worth of other duties at any moment. However, neglecting the marketing plan will only render it incomplete or otherwise rushed.
These are a few of the situations where it would benefit the company to hire a professional service.
Benefits of Outsourcing Marketing Initiatives are Numerous
Invest in expert knowledge and organization, instead of devoting time that could be better spent elsewhere in the company. With the marketing plan out of sight, it can be out of mind while still being completed with comprehensiveness and detail. Trusting the objectivity and whole-market analyses of an industry-leading marketing firm will ensure your marketing plan is solid for 2015 and beyond.