I read a really useful post by Brad Sugars on Entrepreneur.com the other day and it reminded me of what Tim Berry and John Jantsch often have to say.  The post was about marketing planning and listed five things to avoid when putting your plan together. These words particularly caught my eye:

A good marketing plan is like a battle plan or a game plan; it should serve as a guide and a blueprint for the actions you need to take to grow your business. It should also have some flexibility because as you start testing and measuring tactics, you’ll need to shift strategies from time to time, to capture or gain share in a particular market. That said, a good plan doesn’t need to be complicated.

This post resonated with me because planning is what we ‘preach’, but it also resonated with me because it is so true. John Jantsch, marketing guru, always has tips on how to effectively market your business, and Tim Berry, business planning expert, always has tips on how to effectively plan and create a business or marketing plan. So much of what Brad had to say seemed to align perfectly with what John and Tim regularly blog about and teach.

As you enter into 2009 and think about how to keep your company charging forward, think about your marketing plan. Have you truly thought about and narrowed down your ideal customer? Do you have a marketing budget or know how much your marketing initatives cost? Do you have a handle on how to acquire new leads and customers? Are you tracking your progress? Make sure you have some sort of plan in place – but be flexible and know it is not set in stone. It is simply a guide to help you get to where you want to go and see your business succeed.

Happy planning in the New Year!

Kristen Langham
Manager of Business Development
Palo Alto Software, Inc.

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