Last week, 3 people asked me when my next “Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan” seminar is going to be. I told them that I offer that particular seminar every year in September, because that’s the time to start the planning process for the following year. I don’t offer it any later than that because, if someone hasn’t already started working on their marketing plan for next year by October, then they generally need more personalized assistance then a seminar can give them and a private consultation is more in order.
I’ve said this often in this forum – advance planning is a huge portion of any successful marketing plan or campaign.
The most tangible example of this is the client who wanted to order 250 imprinted pens for an upcoming event and, oh yeah, it’s 3 days away. We got it done and delivered the day before the event so that they’d have it at 8 am the next day for distribution. Not really a big deal, except for one little, really very insignificant detail: Instead of the shipping costing about $20 to go ground, we had to overnight ship it to meet the deadline. The final shipping cost for a 6 pound package shipped cross-country overnight? $342.58. The actual product cost for the 250 pens? $220, including setup fees. If they’d planned in advance, they could either have saved $320 in shipping costs, or doubled the number of pens they received for what they paid in overnight shipping costs.
Don’t look unprepared, or end up paying too much. Marketing should be an investment in business growth, not an added expense because things weren’t planned out properly or because of last-minute rush charges.
So, are you ready with a marketing plan for 2014? If not, what the heck are you waiting for?