If you speak with B2B executives they’ll agree that you need a marketing plan. However, if you try to discuss the fee associated with it, there will be some push back. What makes that the case?
One of the biggest issues when it comes to discussing the fee is the difficulty in placing a direct value on a B2B marketing plan. Which then begs the question how do you value a B2B marketing plan? Why is it that you need one?
Marketing Plan vs Business Plan
It’s very important to create a distinction between a marketing plan and a business plan. B2B business plans should be completed four reasons.
- Starting a new business
- Raising Capital
- Selling a business
- Expanding into new markets and/or new business lines.
B2B marketing plans on the other hand should be completed every year, while being revisited and upgraded throughout the year as necessary. The marketing plan is going to be a part of the business plan.
The B2B marketing plan should be used as the playbook for executing marketing and sales strategy and tactics throughout the year.
The Plan is the Playbook
With football season almost under way and on most people’s minds you can compare the marketing plan to a playbook for a football team.
It is very difficult to put a direct value on either of these two items. Would your favorite football team or head into a football game without a playbook? That would never happen and you should feel the same way about the B2B marketing plan. It is difficult to put an exact value on a B2B marketing plan, but you shouldn’t be able to imagine starting your year without one.
Planning is Everything
You need to plan and when you write it down it gives you three specific advantages.
- You don’t have to remember anything, just refer to the agreed strategies and tactics in the plan.
- Disputes are settled by referring to the agreed upon plan.
- As your business changes throughout the year, in the way you’d have to adapt football plays to the opposition, you can easily alter the strategies, because you have a plan.
Why Have a Plan
What would happen if a football team lost their playbook to the opposition, or if you lost your marketing plan to the competition? You’d probably be able to put a value on your marketing plan at that point. The competition would definitely find it valuable.
Value of a Plan is in the Planning Process.
By discussing your strategies and tactics with your executive team and coming to a consensus, it will make things easier moving forward.
Use an impartial outside facilitator for the process to make sure that all of the necessary elements are in your plan. There are many advantages of using an outside facilitator. Using and outside facilitator provides many advantages.
- The facilitator has no axe to grind, and can therefore keep the planning process moving and ensure no partiality.
- A facilitator will ensure everyone has his/her say, and is involved in the process.
- There is a methodology to developing a marketing plan, and the facilitator will bring that to the table to ensure everything is covered.
- The plan will be delivered and distributed to all concerned to allow them complete instructions on their role, and what is needed from them.
A B2B marketing plan is essential to your business success, because marketing and sales are the lifeblood of your business .It is difficult to place a value on your B2B marketing plan, but it that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.