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Why you need to plan for success

Note from Chris: Somebody who we work with very closely here at BMON is Andrew Leon Walker, who operates as a freelance marketing director. We often bounce ideas off Andrew, and thought it might be nice occasionally to have his fresh angle on things. So we’ve asked him to write for us once a month on the topics he’s being asked about most often. Enjoy! I’ll be back on Monday.

It’s that time of year and I’d guess that many of you are looking forward to a hard earned holiday to relax and re-charge your batteries. And in order to make that holiday happen many of you will have gone through a similar process e.g.:

You’ll have an idea in your head of the type of holiday that you want.

Everyone is different, so some of you will decide you need an all exclusive holiday in a hot climate with miles of sandy beaches, others will prefer a more tranquil, sedate experience and some of the culture vultures out there would rather spend their time exploring old ruins or museums.

You’ll decide on the best time of the year to take your holiday

Depending on a number of variables such as school holidays and times when business permits you’ll finally be able to pencil two weeks into your calendar.

You’ll start to look into what’s available and where

Most will turn to the internet for help, others will ask friends and family for recommendations, or you may even visit a high street travel agent. Or it may be a combination of all of these options.

You’ll then make a decision and book your holiday

After months of research you’ll finally feel comfortable enough to book your holiday either through an online vendor, direct with the hotel and airline or via the high street.

So on the day you’re due to depart you’ll know:
• Where you’re going
• Where you’re departing from
• How you’re going to get there
• You may even have an itinerary for what you want to do when you reach your destination

Every time you book a holiday you’ll go through this process. Why?

Because it’s important to you, and you don’t want it to fail. So at every stage you’re looking to minimise risk.

Too few companies take as much time and effort planning for the success of their business. Most of the businesses that even have a written marketing plan see it as a tick box exercise and the document never again sees the light of day.

Your written marketing plan should be seen as a living document that helps guide marketing decisions such as resource planning, budgeting and strategic targeting. Yes, things on the ground will change and the plan will evolve over time but the goals and objectives of the business will remain constant.

To market your business without a written plan can mean jumping from one short term sales promotion to the next with ever diminishing returns.

One planning model to help in the creation of your marketing strategies or campaigns is PR Smith’s SOSTAC® model. It’s a model that’s recommended by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and one I use with my clients. Here’s a link to the paperback version of the guide to your perfect digital marketing plan.

Andrew Leon Walker

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