The Marketing Plan Picture

How the planning looks in your business…

Metaphorically speaking, building a marketing plan is like doing a puzzle. Each piece giving the plan more depth and dimension.

We start with the outside edge to establish the limits of our expectations to a specified area (Define). Then we focus on small portions within the picture until we’ve completed them (Research and Analysis). After these smaller portions are developed, they are connected (Strategy). Then we add the final pieces and the complete picture emerges (Decide).

How the planning is applied to your business:

Define (The outside edge)

  • Set your goals
  • Determine your budget

Research and Analysis (The smaller portions)

  • Understand your customers
  • Know your limits and capabilities
  • Be willing to ask yourself the tough questions
  • Evaluate your competition
  • Specify your target markets

Strategy (Connecting the pieces)

  • Choose your approach
  • Develop your plan

Decide (Adding the final pieces)

  • Add your passion and motivation
  • Put your plan into action

The Research, Analysis and Strategy used in the development of your plan all use the same smaller portions as the others, but they are looked at from different angles. Similarly to the metaphorical puzzle piece, you turn the piece around to see it in every conceivable way to identify how it fits – it’s still the same piece, but you have a different viewpoint from each angle. The same applies here.

By the way, the fun part, the promotional products, are investigated during the Strategy stage of your plan development. It’s only after the other steps are complete that the exciting half of marketing comes into the mix. If you don’t know what the rest of the picture looks like how can you effectively identify how to reach the customers you need to be successful?

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