The No-Substance Ghostly Plan

Posted on November 8th, 2016

Too often, we see marketing plans developed with the best of intentions, but lacking in substance. One obvious clue is frequent (or exclusive) use of the word “awareness.” If an entire marketing strategy revolves around building awareness, then it’s not a complete plan! Your potential customers are aware of you – now what?!

Another scary phrase is “that’s how we’ve always done it.” Maybe they think that flyer or billboard worked 10 years ago, but spending your marketing dollars on something because that’s what you’ve done in the past is not a solid plan. It’s time to revisit your strategy to make sure you’re targeting your audience effectively.

The ghostly plan can develop several ways – by not correctly identifying your target audience, not properly developing your key messages, not having marketing goals in place, not having your marketing channels planned out and working in sync, or doing it “just because.” With each missing or underdeveloped component, your plan fades away a little more.

The result?
A ghostly plan allows more room to miss the bullseye with your marketing and typically leads to reduced effectiveness of your tactics. And when your marketing efforts underperform, it’s hard to nail down what went wrong because it was never specified in the first place!

What to do about it
Start from the beginning and don’t take shortcuts. Spend the time planning, strategizing and ensuring your team is up-to-date on each element of the marketing plan. Being in sync between management, marketing and vendors will keep your plan solid and on track. And write it down! A written plan is a must to make it real and tangible.

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