Five Steps to Create Marketing Plan That Won’t Put You in Court!

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220148
(accessed August 13, 2011)

The Story: SWOT,Strategize, Set and Review.

Tim Berry gives readers five (5) steps to create a Marketing Plan, which is a separate, more
focused document from your Business Plan, both of which every business owner
should have.

Steps One and Two: Look inward (internally) within your business and look outward (externally) outside your business.

This equates to a SWOT analysis that many business students are familiar with and many business owners should be familiar with because of its practicality and importance. It requires a company to write down their company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to determine what should be the company’s focus. This should be the starting point for a good Marketing Plan.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Typically, strengths and weaknesses are internal capabilities and weaknesses of a company that a company has the ability to control or change relatively easily. For example, if a company has high customer loyalty, this is a strength, an internal capability; if a company has high employee turnover, this is a weakness. Arguably, both are within the control of the company.  Conversely, opportunities and threats require an external, or outside the company, analysis. An example of an opportunitywould include a new favorable trend in a global market; this is something that is external from a company’s internal operations and capabilities and outside the company’s control. An example of a threat would be political unrest within a nation where a company is headquartered. Again, this is something apart from the company’s internal procedures and cannot be necessarily controlled by the company.

Step Three: Focus on Strategy.

Now that you have figured out what your SWOT analysis is, it’s time to develop a strategy. A strategy is a long term plan for creating value for the customer; without creating value for the
customer, you don’t have a viable strategy. The results of an effective strategy is profits.

There are a lot of things that go into creating an effective strategy; consulting a professional in this area would be a GREAT investment. (DID YOU KNOW KLP is a comprehensive law firm offering legal AND business consulting advice because the Founder, Dar’shun Kendrick, has her M.B.A.? Visit us online at www.kendricklaw.net to get started
TODAY!)

Step Four: Set Measurable Steps.

In order for you to make sure that your Marketing Plan is working propertly, you must set metrics, content that will measure the effectiveness of your plan. For example, if you wanted to have a google ad campaign, you would use ROI (return on investment= amount paid/amount
received) to measure if google ad is a viable part of your Marketing Plan. Without metrics and without goals, you have a “dead” Marketing Plan. SET METRICS AND SET GOALS.

Step Five: Review Often and Revise.

What good is having metrics and goals if you never review them? Therefore, make sure that you review these metrics and goals regularly to make sure that you are on course for your sales goals. They can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly but be aware that the shorter time that you measure, the less information you will have to make an informed decision and the longer time you wait, the harder it may be to change the marketing plan and the more opportunity costs you have lost to make a sale.

Lessons Learned

We should all learn four (4) important things that are easy to remember about a business plan: (1) SWOT, (2) Strategize, (3) Set [goals and metrics] and (4) Review. Doing this will allow for a GREAT start on a Marketing Plan that will help you create an effective strategy and that strategy will lead to profits.

My Perspective: Beware of the S.E.C. and “blue sky” laws.

Kendrick Law Practice (“KLP”) strives to keep businesses “IN business and OUT of Court”
through the practice of transactional law and comprehensive business advice and counseling. Therefore, we value business innovative and persuasiveness while cautioning against written plans that would run afoul of any state or federal laws. Visit us online at www.kendricklaw.net for more information on how we can help you with this then continue reading.

Marketing Plans are GREAT! Business Plans…even better! But beware that even marketing plans and business plans have a LEGAL CONSEQUENCES. Many business owners don’t understand that most communications have legal consequences, not just contracts and agreements you would typically expect.

The SEC (www.sec.gov) is the federal agency that is responsible for creating investor transparency
for investors that want to purchase shares of stock (ownership) for publicly traded companies. Each state, including Georgia, has a state level version of this agency through what are called “blue sky laws” whose mission is also to protect investors from unscrupulous companies sharing ownership in less that worthy company for both publicly traded companies and privately held companies.

Marketing plans and business plans have to be crafted in such a way as not to anger the S.E.C or its state counterpart. How?- Making less than truthful remarks (“Our company has not been the subject of any litigation” when your company was just involved in a mediation
action, even though it never went to court) or making blatantly untruthful remarks (“We already have contracts in at least 3 international markets to sustain this marketing initiative” when you know you only have 1 contract) or unsustainable promises (“We promise a 500% return on investment” when that’s not possible to do legally.)  Therefore, if you are selling shares or ownership in your company, BEWARE OF WHAT YOU SAY AND WRITE. Consult counsel such as KLP—we are here to help!

KLP offers document drafting and reviewing services, not for just legal documents, but for ALL business documents including, but not limited to, business plans, marketing material
such as brochures and cards, advertisements, website content, etc. Visit us online TODAY at www.kendricklaw.net/clientservices/getstarted.html  to learn more or get started.

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