It never ceases to amaze me that many businesses, who are really good at what they do, fail to apply the same quality of thought to marketing their business and so fail to realise their true potential. Often what marketing they do do is spur of the moment, reactive and intermittent. They might as well just set fire to their marketing budget!
This is not to say that spontaneity doesn’t have its place. The unexpected gesture that delights a customer, that puts a smile on the face, beats carefully planned but uninspired promotions any day of the week. It needs to be a spontaneity that grows out of a well crafted and understood strategy, one that drives a coherent plan of marketing activity. For the larger business this will normally come naturally as there will be a marketing resource that is dedicated to putting such things in place and monitoring their success. For smaller businesses it is more of an issue as it will usually fall to the business owner, short on time and perhaps lacking the necessary breadth of expertise, to pull it together.
It really is true to say that time spent in planning is never wasted. For the under pressure business owner the answer is to work with someone whose success is determined by practising the discipline effectively, can empathise with the clients ideas and ambitions and translate these into a coherent and practical action plan that works with the constraints of the business but is sufficiently creative to take it to another level. The fact that, as a marketing consultant, I would say that wouldn’t I doesn’t make it any the less true!