Written By:  @qamar333

A marketing plan is the single most important part of your business planning. In fact, it is the most vital document of your business. Thinking, conceptualizing, and preparing this plan needs utmost care and the most of your energies. The future of your business depends on the success or otherwise of your marketing plan. Your marketing plan is a reflection of how your organization wants to excel in the coming days or the years. When planning for your organization’s marketing roadmap, never let the following fatal mistakes enter into the picture:

1. Marketing Plan is Incomplete or Not Even Written:

Have you written your marketing plan? If not, what are you waiting for? You may have some excellent ideas as how to push your business ahead. You need to organize them into a well thought-out plan that will provide your company with the strategies needed to achieve your desired objectives. If your plan is not written, you are done, simple, no arguments. A lack of developing a well researched and thought out marketing plan is arguably the most serious blunder you can make with your business.

2. Target Market is not Properly Identified:

If you think your product is for everyone, you’re chasing a false dream and wasting your company’s resources trying to target the masses. It’s very crucial for you to know exactly who your customers are. You must be well informed about your target customers’ personal, economic, geographical, and other characteristics; in order best determine their needs, buying behavior, and the psychology behind their purchasing decisions. Pinpointing your target customers will enable you to implement real and practical marketing objectives that have been identified from

3. Marketing Objectives are not Well-Defined:

If your marketing plan lacks SMART objectives, it’s not a plan. It’s merely a waste of time and resources. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. One such objective may be to achieve 10% online revenue contribution in one year. Your other objective might be to enhance the awareness level of your target market by a certain level. Whatever your SMART marketing objectives are, they must be in-line with your overall business objectives. In other words, your marketing objectives must support your business objectives.

4. Marketing Strategies are Unclear:

Have you worked out your marketing strategies? Marketing strategies are the ways and means to achieve a marketing objective. If you’re not specific about how to get the required results in order for your company to succeed, your marketing plan is a failure. Your marketing strategy is executed by implementing tactics. When you divide a strategy into workable and measurable parts for practical and effective execution and control, it’s called tactical planning.

5. Competitors are Underestimated:

You have carefully crafted your marketing strategies. The strategies look very SMART. However, if you don’t have enough information about each and every competitor then you have not equipped your company with the proper levels of market knowledge to ensure success. Without this critical piece, when you implement your marketing plan, it will likely be ineffective as you have not properly identified your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. You don’t know what your opportunities are within the marketplace, nor have you properly assessed the threats that are in the way of your company’s success. Consider doing a SWOT analysis. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). This crucial step will help you properly assess the marketplace and set your marketing plan up for success.

Would you like to add something to my list? Do you agree with it? Did you follow a similar course of action when you developed your company’s marketing plan? What factors do you consider most important for a truly effective marketing plan? Please share your opinion! Qamar Ali Khan About the Author: Qamar Ali Khan is a Management Consultant, LinkedIn writer, and contributor to the Social Marketing blog. You may follow him via @qamar333 or connect on LinkedIn here Qamar’s profile page. Need a blogger to help tell your company’s brand story or support for your company’s social media marketing? Email me us john@socialmarketingsolutionsllc.net or call direct at 970.692.3270.

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