Hatching a plan amongst grim political times…

The benefits of planning help reduce the risks in business and strengthen our objectives.

In the face of breathtaking Brexit uncertainty if you’re feeling like me, there’s a kind of helpless fatalism looming. We’re not totally in charge of our own destiny in this current political arena and can only watch as turmoil seems to unfold.

But we can take charge of our business direction outside of the economic outlook. At unprecedented times like this it’s now surely a time to reflect on and review our business strategy and sales planning. Making sure that planning and strategies are clearly defined for the months and year ahead.

Sales and marketing plans do not have to be big unwieldy documents. Many SMEs will proclaim they haven’t got time for planning but much research points out that well thought out plans with SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based) give competitive advantages. A research at Dominican University in the US proved that writing down goals and reporting them back to peers and colleagues ensured an increased success rate of 76% over the group that just thought about their goals-who only achieved a success rate of 43%.

It’s also critical that this planning takes into account the impact that the external political factors and other influences may have on the business.

A marketing plan should follow a basic format:

  1. Executive Summary- an overview and synopsis of the plan
  2. Environmental analysis-includes competitor analyses; overview of economic, political, technological and social forces which impact on the business
  3. Target markets-assesses the needs and future needs of the target audiences and how well the company is meeting those needs.
  4. Marketing objectives- eg to increase market share by x% in y market sector
  5. SWOT analysis-strengths; weaknesses; opportunities and threats. Use the strengths and opportunities to good effect in creating your strategies.
  6. Marketing strategies – the ‘how’ you will execute the objectives and what marketing platforms to use. Including the 7 Ps of marketing
    https://www.smartinsights.com/marketing-planning/marketing-models/how-to-use-the-7ps-marketing-mix/ And the development of your value proposition for product/service in each segment of your market.
  7. Importantly measuring and reviewing progress is critical both in terms of analysing success and failure and gauging ROI on spend

At least if we’ve got some semblance of sensible business planning it can put us in a better place to navigate through the Brexit debacle.

Email me if you’re interested in talking about sales and marketing planning

Joanne.harding@hardingconsult.co.uk

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