Often, a client will come to me with a challenge or an opportunity they would like to market to the world. They have a unique product or service that they feel will be life changing for a certain subset of the population and they want to let them know that they can fulfill that need. I love that! That’s what we do as marketers, we make the world a better place by connecting those people who have great ideas and services with individuals who are looking for those solutions. But unfortunately, many times, business owners don’t know how or don’t think to research why their customers would want their product. They simply feel, well, it’s the best so they’ll buy it. No! Customers buy for their reasons not ours. This is critical for business owners to understand and why you need to research and plan your approach to messaging and presenting your solutions to your target audience. Here are 3 mistakes business owners make when building a marketing plan.
- Not having a plan at all!
While this may seem rudimentary, I’ve seen many times where a business owner has said, I don’t need to sit down and do a plan, I do this and I know the people who buy this so I just want to start marketing to them. I get that and love the sense of urgency, but without a plan in place, you lack focus and the ability to translate your vision to those who need to carry out the marketing tasks. In addition, without a plan in place it will be difficult to budget, know if you’re staying on that budget and if you are actually getting results. Having KPIs built into a plan allows for you and everyone that you are bringing onto your team to be held accountable for is critical for success. Make sure you spend the time, even if it’s for a a few days, to put down in a single document, what it is you’re selling, who you want to reach and their why in buying your product.
- Not doing any research on your target audience!
A marketing plan isn’t just a list of the activities you are going use to market to a certain subset of the population. A marketing plan needs to incorporate what’s important to your target audience, what they find interesting, important exciting and how that relates to your business. People buy product for emotional reasons. They back those reasons up with logic. It’s important to remember the Pain/Pleasure buying access when developing your plans. People either buy to avoid pain in the present or pain in the future and the same with pleasure, it’s to either gain pleasure in the present or attain it in the future. When you have these concepts in mind, you can more accurately focus your marketing efforts in front of the right target audience. When building in the strategies to your marketing plan, it’s important to think about where your audience consumes content and especially, where they consume content about their Pleasure/Pain matrix and about your competitors. These areas will help you to define where and how you should market.
- Spending too much time on the plan!
Ultimately, planning is powerful but execution and testing is critical. Often times, business owners want to know if they invest in marketing it will immediately get them a return on investment. And why not! This is exactly what marketing and advertising is supposed to do for a business. However, I always tell business owners, don’t let perfection be the enemy of greatness. Ultimately, marketing and advertising isn’t an exact science. You will need to make educated guesses and test out those hypothesis to then see what worked and what didn’t. You don’t need to spend huge amounts of money to do so, but it’s important to go into it with an open mind that you will test and measure results. As long as you have transparency, the team follows the plan and you are focused on the right audience, you will be able to make adjustments along the way that lead to success. It’s important to get marketing and let your audience guide how and where they want to consume your message. The best validation of a marketing plan well executed is sales!
If you’re ready to build a marketing plan, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to helping you reach your target customers more effectively in the digital space!