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Avoid These Success-Killing Mistakes When Creating Your Marketing Plan 

Avoid These Success-Killing Mistakes When Creating Your Marketing Plan

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take a significant step in the direction of wild business success. You’re going to be creating a powerful and effective marketing plan. Now, this is no easy feat. There will certainly be obstacles along the way, maybe a tear or two shed, but if done right, the time invested in this critical key to success will be way beyond worth it in the long run. So let’s get down to what you’re here for.

The mistakes you need to avoid when you’re starting your planning. The success-killing mistakes that could throw you way off track and ultimately mean the demise of your marketing plan, or worse, your business. As startups or small businesses, every dollar and every day counts. So we need to be conscious of how we can most effectively spend our time to get us to the glorious finish line.

Unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter road map to success. And because every business is different, every path to success will be different too. While we can’t tell you exactly what your business will need to do to see huge success no matter what, what we can tell you, is what NOT to do in order to avoid almost certain failure.

Avoid these 4 success-killing mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective marketing plan.

Let’s set the record straight. We are ALL ABOUT big goals. And we are most definitely about promoting the dedication, commitment and hard work to reaching those goals. But we absolutely have to be realistic. There are four paramount pieces of this pre plan-building process that we need to make sure we’ve served ourselves a reality check on and those are:

MISTAKE #1 NOT BEING REALISTIC

According to The Content Marketing Institute, 25% is the average portion of a marketing budget dedicated to content marketing.

BUDGET

It is 100% vital that you are realistic when deciding on your marketing budget. Often times marketing budgets are limited, and in some cases, they’re non-existent. Many small businesses don’t include marketing in their business budget because they tell themselves one of two things:

  1. I don’t have enough (or any) money to spend on marketing
  2. I don’t know what to do, so I don’t know what to spend (as a result, I spend nothing) But, it takes money to make money! We can confidently tell you that spending money on marketing (the right way) is absolutely worth it – and essential to building your business. If your budget is small, that’s okay! Just make sure you’re spending it where it counts. Your marketing budget can take you far if you know where to put it. If you plan it out right, it will increase as your business grows as a direct result of your marketing efforts. But for right now, be realistic with how much money you can allocate to marketing. A small budget can accomplish big things in the world of digital marketing as the results of evergreen content can exponentially grow over time.

TIME

Just like any aspect of your business, marketing takes time and effort. As small business owners and entrepreneurs, you’re probably familiar with the feeling of being stretched for time and stretched too thin. So you’re probably thinking, “On top of the money I don’t have to spend on marketing, I definitely don’t have the time to dedicate to this project either!” But you need to escape that mindset right now. Yes, marketing your business will take time. But believe it or not, if building your business is a priority – you can find the time.

Wildly successful entrepreneurs don’t have more time in the day than we do, they just commit to spending their time on the most valuable, goal-oriented tasks.

Even if you only have 3-5 spare hours every week, you can still accomplish much more than you think. The number one thing to think about as you start your marketing planning is recognizing how much time you truly have to dedicate to your efforts. Don’t create a marketing plan that will require your full and undivided attention for hours a day if you only have one hour a day to actually implement it.

We want you to set yourself up for success, not failure. If you have a team, remember to consider how much available time they have too and how you can utilize their skillsets in your plan!

SUCCESS TIP GOALS

Step One of developing a marketing plan will always be goal setting. If you have nothing to work toward, it will be impossible to create a plan. Once you’ve finished designing your plan, you’ll need to analyze your efforts by determining your key performance indicators.

Your KPIs will tell you what is and is not working inside of your marketing plan. But it is absolutely vital that you select and evaluate the correct KPIs for your plan and business. Your business’s KPIs will be different from other businesses, and they will rely heavily on the goals you’ve laid out.

For example, if your main goal is brand awareness and you’re using Facebook as a tool to achieve that goal, there are certain numbers you’ll want to focus on, and others that are less important. In this case, Total Reach (number of Facebook users that viewed your content) may be a key metric. Focusing on the right numbers is crucial to your marketing success.

Your goals will be the core of your marketing plan. All of your marketing tactics should be working together to achieve not only your marketing goals, but your business goals too. All too often we see businesses on Facebook that have no true purpose. When we ask them why they created a Facebook account they say, “Well everyone’s on Facebook.” While that is true, if being on Facebook doesn’t help you achieve one, or all, of your goals, then you shouldn’t waste your time creating and managing a Facebook account. When creating your marketing plan, and as new opportunities (or distractions) come your way always always revisit your goals and ask yourself, “Will this help me get closer to achieving the goals I’ve laid out?” If the answer is no, go back and reconsider.

TIMELINE

Spoiler alert: success doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re reading that sentence and thinking “duh,” we want you to remember that fact when you’ve begun implementing your marketing plan. Marketing can be a bit of a waiting game. You will not see drastic change after one day of implementation. You might not even see progress after two or three weeks. But we can reassure you that your marketing efforts will be effective if you’ve planned them the right way, and stick to them. Do not get discouraged and begin changing your goals and tactics. If you continue to make changes every time you don’t see immediate progress, you’ll never achieve your goals. Just follow the plan you’ve laid out for yourself, and you’ll see a difference down the line.

MISTAKE #2 WATCHING THE WRONG NUMBERS

Every business has a target audience. Your business is no exception. For some companies, it can be easy to believe their product or service applies to everyone. And while it’s possible that everyone may be able to use your product or service, we’re willing to bet that there are certain segments of the market that could benefit much more than others, and need you much more than others.

Those are the ones you want to target. Why focus energy, time and money on ones that could use you or might use you – when you know there are individuals out there that desperately NEED you right now? We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, in marketing to everyone, you’re essentially marketing to no one.

That may sound backwards, but it’s the truth. The beauty of marketing in this day and age is that you can be very specific and targeted, and get your message in front of even the most segmented of audiences. And that’s exactly what you want to do. Do not fall prey to believing that marketing to the largest audience will result in acquiring the largest number of customers.

MISTAKE #3 BEING TOO MUCH FOR TOO MANY

You want people that fit into your target audience to believe that your product or service was designed specifically for them as an individual, because it was! Narrow it down and get specific with your audience. As you become more targeted, and better about defining that audience, and those individuals, your messaging will become much more powerful and much more likely to inspire, education and elicit action.

SUCCESS TIP

Pain points should differ between audiences! When identifying who your ideal markets are, the differentiating factor should lie within the specific challenges they are facing.

The reason for this is because that determines how you will position your messaging and your product in a way that connects with them at the deepest level. Inbound marketing expert, Laura Fitton, says, “Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm, and ideas about how to solve that problem.”

Like we said before, marketing can be a waiting game. Once you begin implementing your marketing plan it could take a few weeks to a month before you begin to see change and progress. That is 100% normal. It may become difficult to maintain patience with your marketing plan once you’ve begun. You’ve invested time and money into this planning and you’re really banking on that ROI.

Trust us, you’ll get your ROI. But it won’t always be right away. Losing your patience, though, could be detrimental to your progress. It’s natural to want to change your tactics when you’re not seeing the results you want, but you have to give your marketing efforts time to take effect. Especially if you’re working on a limited budget, you need to consider the impact you can truly be having.

If you’ve driven 10 people to a landing page and none have converted – is that truly a sign of an ineffective landing page or offer? I’d say no, we need to see some real numbers before we make new decisions or change direction. We’ve seen our fair share of business owners who were impatient, and because of this, constantly changing their goals and tactics.

Unfortunately, they never fully achieved any of the goals they set out to accomplish…and ultimately lost sight of what their goals were to begin with.

MISTAKE #4 LOSING PATIENCE

On a more positive note, we’ve seen great success with clients who are willing to commit to a plan and trust the process. Beth Comstock said it best when she said, “Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.” We’re not asking you to sit idly by and twiddle your thumbs.

As long as you’re following the guidance of your marketing plan, and understanding the metrics that determine success and where your benchmarks lie, we are confident you’ll see the results you’re looking for. It may not feel like it, but you’re already ahead of the competition.

You may not have created your marketing plan yet, but you’re now armed with the knowledge of what NOT to do, and that is a huge asset. Learn from the mistakes of others, and start to build an effective marketing plan that will have a significant impact on your business and your bottom line.

Radiant Marketing was founded on the desire to assist small businesses in successfully developing and executing on powerful and strategic marketing plans and simplifying and streamlining efforts through marketing automation and inbound marketing.

Our vision is to change the world of small business by equipping entrepreneurs and small business owners with the platforms and tools they need to successfully implement effective marketing strategies built around their most powerful asset – their brand.