“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else”
Most B2B executives, I talk to, agree that they need some kind of a plan for their marketing, but when we discuss a fee for the plan, there is always push back. So I wondered why.
The biggest reason is that it is sometimes difficult to put a direct value on the actual B2B marketing plan itself.
So, then how do you value a B2B marketing plan, and why should you have one.
Marketing Plan vs Business Plan
First of all, I want to differentiate between a marketing plan and a business plan.
A B2B business plan should be completed for these four reasons.
1. Starting a new business
2. Raising Capital
3. Selling a business
4. Expanding into new markets and/or new business lines.
A B2B marketing plan should be completed every year, and visited and upgraded periodically throughout the year. A marketing plan is always part of a Business Plan.
A B2B marketing plan is your blueprint for executing your marketing and sales strategy and tactics throughout the year.
Your plan is your blueprint or playbook
I like to compare a marketing plan to a blueprint for a home, or a playbook for a football team.
It is very difficult to put a direct value on either of these two items. But can you imagine building a home without a blueprint, or heading into a football game without a playbook?
Similarly, it is difficult to put an exact value on a B2B marketing plan. But imagine starting your year without one.
Or imagine going into battle without a plan.
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
So, although you need to plan, writing it down in a B2B plan gives you three main advantages.
1. You don’t have to remember anything, just refer to the agreed strategies and tactics in the plan.
2. Any disputes are settled by referring to the agreed plan.
3. If your business changes throughout the year, much a like a house plan might change, or you have to adapt your football plays to the opposition, you can easily alter the strategies and tactics, because you have a plan.
That is why you have a plan.
Also, imagine if a football team lost their playbook to the opposition, or if you lost your marketing plan to the competition. I would bet that you could then put a value on your marketing plan, because I am sure the competition would find it valuable.
However, the value of a plan is not just in the plan itself, but also in the planning process.
You discuss the various strategies and tactics with your executive team. That way there is consensus, and it is much easier to move forward.
And to ensure you put all of the elements in your plan, always use an impartial outside facilitator for the process. There are many advantages of using an outside facilitator. These include;
1. The facilitator has no axe to grind, and can therefore keep the planning process moving and ensure no partiality.
2. A facilitator will ensure everyone has his/her say, and is involved in the process.
3. There is a methodology to developing a marketing plan, and the facilitator will bring that to the table to ensure everything is covered.
4. The plan will be delivered and distributed to all concerned to allow them complete instructions on their role, and what is needed from them.
You would probably agree that planning is essential to success. A B2B marketing plan is also essential to your business success, because marketing and sales are the lifeblood of your business.
And although it is difficult to put an exact value on your B2B marketing plan, if you try and get through a fiscal period without one, you will see chaos reign, because no one really knows what to do.
Please go here for full details about a B2B Marketing Plan.
A Savings for You
If you sign up for a Marketing Plan with me before January 20 2017, you will get a $1,000 discount from my usual fee. Full details are on my website page mentioned above.
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Graphic courtesy of Manamasterplans.com