If you want to win in any field of endeavor, you need a better plan than your competitors.
In business, the lack of a good marketing plan is a key reason why most businesses fail in their early years.
Most business owners create a product or service then they go out to the world effectively saying to everyone ‘buy mine, buy mine’ and hope to succeed.
Yet it really doesn’t have to be like that.
The problem is that most people make the idea of having a marketing plan so complicated that it just never happens.
The truth is a marketing plan has to be easy to develop and implement. Otherwise you will either never start on it or never do anything with it.
It has to meet some basic standards. For example, it should be written, resourced, measurable and timed.
But it doesn’t have to be a large document and it needn’t take long to create.
If you are disciplined, you really could create an effective marketing plan in seven minutes or less.
Seven minutes is better than no time at all.
And it’s better than spending seven months planning without taking any action.
If you spend just one minute thinking about each of the following seven issues, you’ll already have the basis for a strong plan.
1.Without a clear sense of direction in your business, you’ll be unfocused and uncertain about what to do. So you need clear ‘objectives’ for what you want from your marketing.
2.The first and most obvious secret of successful marketing is having a product or service that people want to buy so you need to be clear about your ‘proposition’.
3.The most successful businesses usually don’t try to be something for everyone. Instead they recognize the value of focusing on a specific part of the market – so you need to be clear on your ‘niche’.
4.You need to stand out from the competition in a way that is attractive to your market. This is your ‘positioning’.
5.You need to have a consistent ‘message’ that appeals to people and that you communicate effectively.
6.When you know your message, you have to choose the right ‘tactics and tools’ for getting it across.
7.Finally you need to pull these tactics together into an easy-to-follow ‘calendar’.
With the right approach, this really is possible in just 7 minutes. But the truth is you’ll get the best results by investing a little more time. Try 7 minutes on each of the 7 issues. The secret is to follow the process quickly and then keep coming back to it regularly to improve your answers.
Of course, having a plan is only the start.
The most important thing is just to take action.
If you do that on any of the points we’ve covered here, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you see results.