What to Consider When Building a Marketing Plan

Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s epigram, “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” applies to the marketing landscape. Marketing isn’t always easy to master– not because its concepts or Tradeshow marketingapplication are inherently complex, but because business and consumer trends change over time. Yet, ironically, in some cases, tried-and-true strategies endure the vicissitudes of cultural change and technological advancements.

Trade shows, for example, still have a huge impact on a company’s efforts to network and brand its product line, despite the fact that digital marketing makes it unnecessary for people to meet in person. This is because the same message can be delivered via video conferences and teleseminars. So, if you were to invest in a heavy duty canopy, banner stands, flat panel displays, and pop-up displays, you would get more than enough visitors to your stall or booth at a trade show to get a positive return on your investment of time, energy, and money.

If You Build It, Will They Come?

When you think about it, the idea of the world beating a path to your doorstep because you’ve built a better mousetrap is something of a fallacy. It may have worked in the past, but quality is no longer the only determinant when it comes to building a flourishing business.

While, of course, the quality of your products and services should be exemplary, sometimes a company with an inferior product but superior marketing will win the lion’s share of the business. This occurs because marketing shapes consumer perception.

One classic example of how marketing is the prime mover when it comes to business success is the video format war in the 1970s. Although Betamax, a magnetic tape for video by Sony, produced a technically superior product, it lost the market to VHS, a competitive video format by JVC in Japan and RCA in the United States, with the result that Sony’s product became obsolete.

So, it’s not far from the truth to consider every business a marketing business. If you don’t have a robust marketing plan in place to consistently attract leads and convert them into buyers, your business will not go far.

In fact, the worse your marketing, the less likely you are to be able to stay in business. Quality matters, of course, but marketing conditions consumer perception on the value of a product or service.

Traditional Marketing Still Works

Advertising through telephone books, newspapers, and magazines, spots on radio, or commercials on television, are all considered traditional marketing. While many avant-garde marketers like to dismiss these types of advertising as too expensive to get a good ROI and too untargeted to get enough leads, the simple fact that traditional marketing is still around suggests otherwise.

In his Forbes article, “Is Traditional Marketing Still Alive?” author Dave Lavinsky believes that although it’s true that the traditional route is not as effective as before, you can still achieve great results if you choose the right media for your target audience and if you write “a compelling USP (unique selling proposition) and offer.” After reviewing the many sides of the issue to determine if the traditional approach is still a viable form of acquiring customers, he concludes that traditional marketing still delivers, works well for businesses of all sizes, and can be affordable.

Digital Marketing Is Pushing the Envelope

Still, it’s a mistake to only rely on traditional advertising methods because they’ve proved their value over time. Your business also needs to get up to speed with the latest trends in the digital space. You can either hire a service to do your promotions by taking a few courses.

Once you start, you’ll quickly learn how essential it is to keep on top of changes in search engine marketing, social media marketing, blogging, and other lead-generation strategies.

While there are some fundamental practices in digital marketing, there is no point in using strategies that are no longer current with a change in Google’s algorithm, new Facebook ad policy changes, or a new way of making blogs even more engaging for readers.

Designing a Marketing Plan

You’ve probably realized by now that it’s vital to have a marketing plan in place if you want your business to grow. Marketing is relevant even if your business has plenty of customers. However, since it’s never static, you need to stay abreast of the latest trends in order to market effectively. Since both traditional advertising still works and digital techniques are highly effective, the best plan you come up with should be one that integrates the best promotional options provided by traditional and digital media.

About Jane Brown

Jane Brown is a freelance writer.