We are coming now to the final step of the MAP (Marketing Action Plan), where you actually put the tactics on your calendar. It’s important to double check that each one of your tactics is detailed enough, so that it includes how much time daily, weekly, monthly you need to achieve the results you want, as well as what budget you’ll require and assistance you’ll need. It’s only with this level of detail will you be able to execute your tactics.
The final Marketing Action Plan will be something you will live and work with every day, so you also want it to be realistic. You may find as you fill in all the blanks that you have bitten off more than you can chew, or that you simply are ignoring important aspects of reaching your financial and other goals. A common mistake is to create a great portfolio, but never allocate the time, energy or budget to building a relevant lead list and/or not following-up with phone calls and emails after sending a collection presentations to manufacturers.
I recommend starting by placing trade shows, product signings and other events that are not ‘moveable’ on your calendar first when laying out your annual Marketing Action Plan.
Make sure you review your promotional tools and create whatever sales materials are needed for trade shows, direct mailings, public relations, etc. Then work backwards to give yourself time to complete them before they are needed.
As you look at your calendar, which is now your Marketing Action Plan, ask yourself these final questions:
- Have you addressed each objective with tactics that will actually make a difference and achieve those goals?
If you don’t know what to do, how can you find out? Who can you talk with to create those tactics and learn what to do?
- Have you considered your personal life and all it entails, so that you are being realistic about your timing and goals?
- Have you allocated budget to each tactics and goal, and is there enough money to achieve your goals, or do you need to hold off on some items until another year? If so, how does that affect the outcome of your other objectives?
- When you look at this Marketing Action Plan, do you get excited about the prospect of all you can achieve or does the look and feel of it overwhelm you? If it’s the second, your plan still needs some tweaking.