Anyone who’s taken a business class knows that marketing consists of product, placement, pricing, and promotion.
But there are four other ingredients that should go into your marketing plan that have nothing to do with the four P’s. And yet they have everything to do with how successful your plan, and your pet business, will be.
Pet business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs tend to be big thinkers: strategic and visionary.
However, big thoughts on paper rarely lead to anything without the details to back them up. You must attach lofty goals to specifics that will ground them in reality, namely measurements and timelines.
If you have a goal to increase website traffic be sure to specify by how much, from where, what type of visitor, and by when. If you want to increase your customer base, define the customer, the amount of increase you want, and the deadline.
By including specifics in your goal setting, you have built-in top-level benchmarks for success that the rest of your plan will ladder up to.
Proof of concept is important, but you can’t live and die by the things that have already been proven to work.
There is value, freedom, and the opportunity for great success in trying something new and being willing to fail in order to learn.
Building this mindset into your marketing plan – literally planning to fail, even in small ways – will open you and your team up to the possibility of new things and the opportunity to reach new audiences through new channels.
The rules for using risk, however, are to use it wisely. Take the time to define success versus failure. Follow through on measuring the results so you know what outcomes you did, or didn’t, achieve.
The cornerstones of a successfully executed plan are the individuals who are willing to accept responsibility for the completion of their portion of the plan.
Neither a team nor a department gets things done, individuals do.
Every single tactic in your marketing plan should be assigned to a person who is accountable for pulling together the resources to accomplish their tasks on time and on budget.
The three keys to accountability are: empowering the people involved, making commitments visible to other team members, and rewarding each person’s accomplishments.
Marketing isn’t a one-and-done game; it’s a process of testing, learning, and refining. That is why a company cannot market on autopilot, believing that what worked last year will work next year.
It is imperative that management provide the time and space to allow marketing to measure, evaluate, and plan on a continuous basis.
Holding weekly, monthly, and annual reviews of your marketing plan changes it from a static document into a working roadmap that provides structure in its goals and flexibility in its execution.
Specificity, risk, accountability, and continuous improvement will drive the marketing strategy, the department, and your employees toward being more goal-oriented, specific, accountable, proactive, and flexible.
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