The Top Five Marketing Plan Mistakes:

How to Avoid the Most Common Marketing Blunders

Avoiding common marketing plan mistakes is one of the easiest tips to follow when writing your marketing plan. What are the biggest marketing blunders that companies make?

Here is our top 5 list:

1. Not Writing or Updating the Marketing Plan

The most common marketing plan mistake made by small businesses is not understanding the importance of having a current marketing plan in the first place. If you know your business environment and your target customers’ needs, then putting together a marketing plan shouldn’t be a lengthy undertaking. And it is the best way to make sure you are getting good ROI from your marketing dollars.

2. Not Having a Marketing Strategy

Too many times, I see clients that plan their marketing tactics (glossy brochures, tradeshow booth, email campaign, etc) without having any strategy in place. That’s a waste of good marketing dollars!

Marketing strategy is the high-level rules that should govern your marketing budget decisions, aligned with your business goals. Before you start writing a marketing plan, make sure you have completed the marketing strategy planning exercise that we laid out in this article.

3. Not Making Effective Use of the Internet

Internet marketing can be one of the most effective and cheapest ways to influence your target audience. But too many businesses leave their website and online marketing activity as an afterthought. Take a look at this article on developing your internet marketing strategy.

4. Focusing too Heavily on Big-Budget Marketing Items

Is 90% of your marketing budget and effort spent on your annual tradeshow booth or a glossy direct mail piece? If so, you should be really really sure that it’s the absolute best use of your marketing resources. Usually, marketing is most effective when you can influence your target audience through a variety of complementary channels (eg, email, blog, forum postings, advertising, direct mail, etc). Gone are the days when buyers relied on their annual industry tradeshow as their single source of product/service information.

5. Not Tracking Your Marketing Results

One of the marketing plan mistakes that most businesses make is not tracking the business results of their marketing efforts. Marketing planning is an iterative process: you set a plan and a budget, execute the marketing tactics, see what worked and what didn’t, and then revise the plan based on those learnings. How do you know which marketing activity was the best use of your marketing dollars if you don’t track the results? How much did you spend? How many new customers did you get? What was the acquisition cost for each new customer compared to how much that customer spent with you?


Use Strategic Planning to Avoid Marketing Plan Mistakes

As you plan your marketing, make sure to avoid these most common marketing mistakes. The best place to start is with marketing strategy planning, to make sure your marketing efforts are fully supporting your main business goals.



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