A lot of people are at a loss when it comes to deciding how to approach themarketing plan process and how to stay within time and budget constraints. To make for a lessstressful marketing plan process, keep in mind these 10 tips:1. Think Strategy FirstAn overall marketing strategy drives many decisions. If you first identify general goals,choosing appropriate marketing programs for a small business plan becomes much easier.2. Decide FormatPutting together a general outline and deciding how you will publish the plan can help you better visualize steps you need to take. Examples are (a) a full, detailed reportincluding Executive Summary, the plan itself, and back-up data, (b) a single summary sheet, or (c) something in between. Size and structure of the small business can helpdetermine the scope of the plan.3. Set Aside TimeA good, strategic marketing plan requires a certain amount of analysis. Early stages in the process go smoother with minimal interruptions. Make it easier for those working on theplan to concentrate by setting aside closed time during early planning stages. In a busy,small business environment, this can be accomplished by working during off hours orputting aside a short time 30 minutes to an hour each day.4. BrainstormNew, creative ideas flow more freely when people are not inhibited by preconceptions.Hold a brainstorming session, with two rules: (a) there are no bad ideas and (b)everyones ideas carry equal weight.5. Shorten The ListImplementation suffers severely when there is an overload of marketing projects,especially in small businesses with a small or one-person marketing department.. The listof potential projects generated in the brainstorming session can be shortened by concentrating on those likely to be the most profitable and those that take advantage ofthe companys internal strengths.6. Make The Plan FlexibleBusiness does not operate in a vacuum, so your plan neednt exist in one. For example,the business environment may change during the year or additional marketingopportunities may arise. Building in flexibility to adjust throughout the year can avoid the pitfall of continuing down an unproductive path.7. Have Measurements In PlaceKnowing if and how well a program works can help you identify opportunities for improvement. In your marketing plan or in back-up documents, set explicit goals andmeasurements.8. Evaluate Past ProgramsPast programs are one of the first places to look when deciding which programs to include. Those that worked well may bear repeating. Those that did not should be revisedand improved or omitted from the marketing plan.9. Time line Critical ProjectsEffectiveness of a marketing plan depends on strong implementation. Including time lines for the most critical projects especially those that revolve around trade shows, holidays,or other time-sensitive events will help assure smooth implementation.10. Publish A Summary SheetA marketing plan is easier to track and more likely to be used when a one-page summary sheet clearly reflects goals, strategies, and planned marketing programs. Post thesummary in high-traffic areas and/or above desks to help maintain focus throughout the year.Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
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