By Jolene Roelofse, Head Cyclist at Bludoor Market
Many entrepreneurs miss the importance of having a marketing strategy and a plan. Some don’t understand the difference between the two, and some feel that it is only important once you have a bigger brand and you can afford to hire a marketing manager with the skill-set to create and manage all marketing activities. But it is actually crucial to have one in place.
The best place to start is when you compile your business plan and it is the one section that you have to revisit on a regular basis. Here are a few reasons why having a marketing strategy and subsequent marketing plan is so important:
- It creates a guide to enable you to reach your objectives and goals;
- It integrates the business because it is linked to all aspects of the company;
- It helps with forecasting because it requires you to estimate sales resulting from each marketing effort;
- Marketing requires you to do a competitor analysis and this is useful in improving, changing or adapting your products and services to meet market and client needs.
It is very easy for people to get confused about the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan. A marketing strategy is an explanation of the goals you need to achieve for the business and the marketing plan is your methodology for achieving those goals. It is important to remember that your marketing strategy is aligned to your business strategy and supports it at a practical level. This means that all the activities in your marketing plan should link back to how they are assisting with the sales of your products or your services. Once it you realise this, you will always ensure that it is a priority in your business.
Jolene Roelofse is the Head Cyclist at Bludoor Market, a MBA graduate from The Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, and the company specializes in Business, Marketing and Communications Strategy for SMME and start-up companies. The company’s ethos is that they provide the bicycle (strategy) to the client and assist the client to cycle the business in the direction they choose. Jolene@bludoormarket.com www.bludoormarket.com
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