Planning Your Marketing is Like Planning Your Summer Vacation

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You may have heard many marketers refer to marketing strategies as road maps – but why?  What’s with this analogy and what does it really mean?

The analogy is supposed to be a simple way to describe that a strategy has many steps and is a process for your marketing. The road map was used because it illustrates how a marketing strategy is like a plan of how you are going to reach your destination.

I often encounter business owners who need help planning their marketing and understanding why they need a strategy. As it is summer, in this week’s blog I have decided to turn the analogy of a marketing strategy “road map” into how you would plan your summer vacation.

Planning your Vacation/Marketing:

  1. Vacation plan: Decide on where you want to go.
    Marketing interpretation: Decide on your overall and campaign-specific marketing goals and objectives.
  2. Vacation plan: Decide who is going to go on the trip.
    Marketing interpretation: Decide who your audiences are (primary and secondary)
  3. Vacation plan: Decide what you want to see.
    Marketing interpretation: Decide on the outcomes/increase in revenues/measurements of success. Basically, how will you know if your marketing has been successful? Are you looking for brand awareness, exposure or actual revenues?
  4. Vacation plan: Decide how you are going to get there.
    Marketing interpretation: What marketing tactics will you use to attract the audiences you have defined?
  5. Vacation plan: Look back on the trip once you’re back home. Would you visit there again?
    Marketing interpretation:  Measure results of the campaign. Did it achieve what you hoped for? What could you do differently to improve results?  Would you run the campaign again? Did it meet your goals and objectives?

I hope that this vacation analogy helps you better understand why we refer to marketing strategies as roadmaps – it’s simply to illustrate that a strategy is a process with several steps that all support your overall marketing. Marketing without a strategy is like buying a plane ticket with knowing where you are going.

I am always interested in hearing from you. Was this analogy helpful? Did you gain a better understanding of the importance of having a marketing strategy? Let me know in the comments below.

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