A marketing plan should be dynamic, constantly adapting and evolving with the needs of your business and your customers. But many companies use that as an excuse not to write their plan down. A study by Gail Matthews at Dominican University in California found you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

The fact is, without a documented plan, it’s far too easy to lose sight of your objectives. A planning document gives you and your team focus, and ultimately saves you time and money.

The right approach for your marketing plan

You should always be guided by the SMARTIE principle, so the plans you create will be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely
  • Individual
  • Evaluated 

Each one of these is important. To have a good plan you need them for the following reasons;

Specific

You need to understand what you are trying to achieve. Your plan has to be easily understood and simple to explain.

Measurable

“Is it working? I don’t know.” Your plan must contain certain criteria by which you want it to be measured. If it doesn’t then how do you know if it was a success?

Attainable

Curing all human disease is a noble aim, but it would be better to start with something more attainable, like the common cold. By all means be ambitious, but goals should be within reach, so you’re not tempted to quit.

Relevant

Does it matter? Is this plan going to help your business move in the direction it wants? There’s little point in having a plan to cure disease if you make chocolate bars.

Timely

What is the timeframe? How long will this last? A plan with no fixed ending means you have no fixed goal.

Individual

Is this plan a copy of something else? If it overlaps with another plan you have, is it intentional or are you duplicating effort?

Evaluated 

Are you checking to see whether it’s working? Did you learn something that will help your next plan be even better? Evaluation is key. So important in its own right, in fact, that it’s one of the five steps in our book.