Plan your 2011 marketing now … don’t leave it to chance, says UK marketing consultant Helen Murdoch

Another 9 days and then it’s Christmas! Does that set you in a panic, or are you in control with a list of things to do, people to see and places to go? In a panic? It’s not too late to start planning …

With a plan in place for your Christmas preparations, the next few days will run much more smoothly. You know what you want to achieve, you’ll put in place the things that will get the results you want, and you’ll feel in control.

Of course, there’ll still be room for spontaneous activity – accepting an unexpected party invitation from a friend, deciding to buy that beautiful bouquet for your loved one or going to the Children’s Nativity because you just want to!

You know, it’s the same with your marketing. A good marketing plan gives you a clear indication of what you need to do to get where you want to go. Without a plan, your business just sits there hoping someone notices. Even if you have a great marketing message, you won’t get much attention because you aren’t putting it out there for prospects and customers to see.

Most business owners use tactics more than strategies. They do their marketing in a haphazard and random way. They are reactive, activity is inconsistent, and they waste time, effort and, perhaps most importantly, money on marketing that doesn’t work.

Here’s what you can do….
Start with your ultimate objective – what is it that you want to achieve?
Now work backwards, decide what you need to do and what activities you need to put in place to achieve your objectives.
Create a step-by-step action plan of those activities.
Match your plan to your budget and resources.
Put a timeline against it.
Set up milestones so that you can see where you are and what you’ve achieved
– and that’s it!

Now you’re in control. You know what you’re doing, when you’re doing it and how much it will cost. You’ll be able to adjust and adapt so that you get consistent results that take you step-by-step towards your goal. And you’ll still have room for spontaneous activity. Go on, don’t leave it to chance, try it for yourself. Happy Planning!

If you want help to take that first step in planning your marketing, I’d be pleased to help you. Check out my Marketing Review session at

Helen Murdoch is a senior partner at MA Consulting International, as well as founder and managing director at Helen Murdoch Marketing

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