Having an online marketing strategy in place will be vital to the triumph of any Internet business. If you don’t consider the importance of putting such a strategy in place, you’re likely to be heading for trouble. Is it necessary to have a detailed, written plan?
Some people would regard this as being something that takes up too much time and effort. I would, however, have to disagree. This is an area of your business that will be critical to the future path that you take. When you consider it in these terms, it actually seems strange to think that you wouldn’t want to spend a considerable amount of time on it.
I’ve written a variety of marketing strategy documents and I’ve found that the actual writing process tends to throw up more ideas. It also causes you to really think about your actions, naturally making you question some elements of your approach. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a really good thing.
The problem that numerous small business owners face is that they don’t take a realistic enough approach when writing this initial strategy. It’s easy to see how this happens. Caught up in the excitement of starting a new business, they may become convinced that all of their ideas are brilliant. They may be lucky. Alternatively, they may simply be ignoring problems.
These problems will probably be stored up for a later date. Often, it can be seen that the impact of such issues would have been severely reduced if they’d been dealt with at an earlier point in time. So it makes sense to consider potential problems at the outset.
How good are you about being objective in these situations? Some people are clearly better than others. If you struggle to offer an honest appraisal of your own ideas and strategies, then it might be good to get someone else involved. You’ll want someone who has some knowledge, but who’s also prepared to be completely honest with you.
You may be fortunate enough to have a friend who could help out with this. If not, it may be worth paying a consultant for a small amount of their time.
In particular, you need to be objective when thinking about timescales, finances and the amount of effort involved. It’s always tempting to think that you can achieve a lot in a short period of time, without spending too much money. Unfortunately, you’re likely to find that reality involves the exact opposite of this scenario.
That’s why the best marketing strategies always include a significant amount of contingency planning. You need to be aware you may end up spending a lot more time and money than you really want to. Such situations frequently occur.
If you haven’t planned properly, then this can come as something of a shock. But those who have pulled together a detailed plan, allowing for such circumstances, will find that they are left in a far stronger position.
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