You have many ideas regarding the type of marketing you need for your business. You may even be using multiple marketing partners and systems to get everything done. But is anything guiding all of these vendors, and all of these options towards the same target audience and goals? Do you have a defined contact strategy? Without these answers, you may very well be throwing away precious marketing dollars, and even the best marketing automation system will not provide these answers for you.
People are in such a hurry to launch their product or business that they seldom look at marketing from a bird’s eye view and they don’t create a systematic plan.
~Dave Ramsey, Financial author, radio host, television personality and motivational speaker.
Marketing automation starts with “the plan”.
If you want to drive to Miami from Toronto in 3 days, then you should have a plan to guide your journey to ensure on-time and safe passage. The same goes for marketing. While there are several elements to a marketing plan, there are 5 key areas that should be defined if you want to be able to measure success.
Goals – what do you want to accomplish this year? In 5 years?
Audience – exactly who is the best prospect to target for your products and services?
Budget – how much money have you set aside for marketing to grow your business?
Tactics – what are the most efficient marketing options to hit your goals with your target audience within budget?
Schedule – how will all these tactics play together in communicating to your audience?
While you can market without a plan—just as you can travel without a mapped journey—it may take much longer, and generate higher expenses, to reach your target. If you have time to waste and money to burn, no biggie, right? Otherwise, you need a plan that outlines exactly how and when you will expect to hit your growth targets.