The Importance of Planning
The importance of planning cannot be stressed enough. Consider the dot-com failures in 2000 as an example. Many of the companies that failed did so, at least in part, because of poor planning. Not knowing the market, the competition, and the environment of business were just a few of the factors that could have been addressed and avoided with proper planning. Therefore it is essential in today’s world of internet marketing that planning be conducted thoroughly. Consider the following as steps in your plan.
Research is the first key step in the process. You must know your product, your company’s competitors, your target market, and the capacities of each. When planning you should be able to list both the benefits and the potential disadvantages of the product or service you are selling. Through planning at this stage you can avoid the potential problems associated with a product deficiency by developing ways to correct or even compensate for that deficiency.
Deciding what type of campaign you will run is very important as well. What is your budget? What is your staffing need? What will be the time-frame for the marketing campaign? These and other questions, some of which will depend solely on your unique situation, should be asked and answered at this point of the planning process. With the information laid out in front of you, it will be much easier to see just what limitations and hurdles you may have to overcome in order to effectively launch and carry out your marketing campaign. Also, don’t forget, this is a company-wide effort. Marketing staff should not be the only staff involved. Interdepartmental communication is critical.
Once you have your campaign up and running, be sure to monitor its impact. Various methods exist for monitoring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. However, be sure to rely on the most important of all means first: sales and customer feedback. No matter what business you are in, these two factors will exist in one form or another, and they are crucial pieces of data you can use to fine-tune your strategy.
When the campaign is over, perform an exhaustive review of the entire process from beginning to end. Look for any signs of trouble, and also for points of excellence, and make note of them for your next campaign. Marketing is a learning process every time you do it, and only by noting what went right and wrong last time will you know where to place your focus next time.
While this is a very compact overview of the process, one common thread must be sewn throughout: Be aware, at every step in the process, of the strengths and weaknesses of the company, of your staff, of the product, and of the market. Only through this awareness can you make an effective plan, and only through effective planning will you succeed in internet marketing.
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The Importance of Planning
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