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How Often do You Review Your Business and Marketing Plans?

February 13, 2017 by Ed Becker

Business plans, as well as, marketing plans are dynamic items. They will constantly need to be evaluated, and updated to some extent. It may seem after you have worked so hard and spent many hours writing these plans that they should last for an extended period of time. That mindset is inaccurate, if you shift your mindset to understanding that these tools are dynamic then it will not seem like such a chore.  Your business plan is a very important aspect of keeping your business on target and growing as you projected.

Even though your marketing plan is a part of the whole business plan, it is also a separate entity that requires attention of its own. It will need more active updates and tweaks as you see how the campaigns progress.

Business Plan

Your business plan has levels of depth that can define how much and how often you review and update it. Details and factual data may need to be updated more often than the deeper levels of the plan. Conceptual updates do not necessarily have a standard period to update, it is more about responding to external forces such as new products, competitive and market environment fluctuations, and even legal issues.

Detail and factual data require basic tweaking, and updating is notating changes in current data or numerical information. These can be updated on a monthly or a quarterly basis in some cases. This would include market and industry stats, financial information, and factual information.

Semiannually, it is recommended to update any chapters and sections that need additions and/or edits. These may include customer base, product information, and new products added.

At the very least, annually schedule a full review of your business plan. This allows you to ensure that all detail and factual updates are completed. Major changes in your plan such as conceptual updates should be reviewed and updated. By doing this at least annually, and keeping up on regular minor updates, your plan is set to go for a new year.

Marketing Plan

The marketing plan is much more dynamic than the business plan. Marketing is in a constant state of flux; therefore, you should be monitoring your campaigns, conversions, sales, and profits, as well as, costs in all areas regularly.  As you keep track of these ongoing marketing tools you will need to tweak or update your marketing plan accordingly.

Every time you launch or revise a product, your marketing plan needs to be added to or should reflect all changes. New products and revamped ones should be added to your plan in order to be properly measured.

There is always the marketing strategy that does not meet projections, or completely fails. Staying on top of your marketing strategies regularly and updating your plan as needed will ensure that you do not take a huge hit when this happens.

A good rule of thumb for reviewing your marketing plan is a monthly check. This means the whole plan should be reviewed, not necessarily in extreme depth but reviewed enough to ensure that the plan is current and on course. This is also when you can make changes to campaigns that are static or performing below projections.

Monitoring marketing campaigns and sources constantly is necessary to stay on track and to know what is working and what is not before it becomes a loss. Weekly reviews of marketing stats will ensure that the numbers are where they were projected to be and if they are not, immediate corrections can be done to improve it.

Finally, your marketing plan should be reviewed annually together with your business plan. You will have all the current and historical data to review and make changes to the plan in-depth.

Keeping your business and marketing plans in the mindset that they are dynamic and constantly growing with your business, and impacted by external factors will ensure that they are current. These plans are the foundation of your business, they should be treated as such.

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