John Jantsch over at Duct Tape Marketing wrote a good piece on marketing planning. The key to his message is (this is my interpretation): How you do it is as important as what you do. He offers what he calls the 5 basic elements of a marketing plan:
1. Strategy – “Think long term about what you want your company or your brand to stand for and focus every tactic on supporting that unique point of difference.” Know where you’re going before you set out. Otherwise you will get…well, anywhere.
2. Simplicity – “Keep your marketing simple so that the tactical aspects actually get done and so that your message doesn’t get confused. ” (This says it all.)
3. Consistency – I’d actually call this “Persistence”. His point is that “You will be bored with your marketing long before it has the desired impact. Keep at it.” Nothing worse than hopping from one marketing message and tactic to another before anything takes hold.
4. Multiple facets – This is a tough one to grasp. Read John’s post. Not everyone reads the same things or responds the same way, so figure out the several best ways to reach your desired audience and market to the places they’ll likely learn about you.
5. Self-promotion – Why is it that so many talented new entrepreneurs back away from blowing their own horns? Fear of being turned down? Don’t want to look pushy? If you’re truly excited about what you’re doing and know it will be helpful to others, do not — repeat,– do not fail to let people know what you can do for them!