Article by Susan Pascal Tatum
At first glance, a marketing plan seems to be a no-brainer. Every text book, every do-it-yourself marketing program, every marketing expert will tell you: Youve got to have one.
But do you?
A marketing plan for all its virtues is actually a double-edged sword. Done right, marketing planning will help you define your goals and your target customers; and the plan will provide a roadmap for getting from where you are now to where you want to be. The key phrase in that previous sentence is done right.
Creating a marketing plan especially the first one is time consuming. It often requires at least a moderate amount of research and it always requires a substantial amount of thinking.
Thinking, in particular, is something busy business owners often have trouble finding time to do. Theyd rather be taking action. And the marketing plan often becomes a huge obstacle standing between the owner and the action.
In most small and even mid-sized companies the reality is that this planning never gets done. Discussions with business owners point to the fact that its just too much too much time, too much expertise required, too much distraction from activities that directly increase revenue.
Even when a marketing plan does get completed, it often doesnt get followed. So what was the point?
An annual marketing plan can also lead you down the wrong path unless you realize it must be dynamic. If youd created an annual plan at the beginning of 2008 and executed it to the letter without adjusting for economic changes youd probably be in big trouble now.
But this article is not for those who are successful at marketing planning. This article is for company leaders who havent gotten around to creating a marketing plan or who have created one that sits on a shelf.
Is the lack of a marketing plan keeping you from moving forward with your marketing? Then stop worrying about the plan and try this:
Figure out the single most important thing you need to accomplish with your marketing this year. It shouldnt be too hard to do. Most business owners want more leads. In a down economy, you may also need to cut costs, but you want to do it without lowering marketing effectiveness.
Focus single-mindedly on this objective and youll protect yourself from being distracted by marketing programs and tactics that you think you should be using. (For example, social media is very hot right now, but its ability to quickly drive leads for business-to-business firms is still in doubt).
You can achieve tremendous success just by asking yourself these questions:
What do you need to accomplish most?How are you going to do it?Who is going to be in charge?How much are you willing or able to invest in the program?When do you want it launched?How will you evaluate its success?
If you dont have all the answers yourself, thats good. Youll be forced to seek expert help whether from the inside (internal staff) or the outside (outsourcing).
Involving the experts is not a bad thing. Neglecting to launch a marketing program because you dont have a plan is.
© 2009 Tatum Marketing Inc.
However, this is also not an easy task. The initial difficulty is in finding the most suitable agency to take the loan from, and subsequently the tension is of being able to make the repayments on time every month. Will you also face the same difficulty? Well, you can have a sigh of relief owing to the presence of chronicle of loan insurance in the dominion of United States of America – you are at liberty to make use of it.
What does it actually mean? When someone finds it difficult to make the monthly repayments on time, he can seek the protection of a specific insurance called loan insurance. What this means is that loan insurance is a type of insurance that protects you when you face a financial difficulty and helps you repay your loan. Though used mainly for personal loans and home loans, it is sometimes also used with a vehicle loan.
It’s the time to look into its merits or else it can’t be identified how the same can lead to cheap secured loans. The fundamental benefit is that the loan insurance ensures that the loan repayments are continued even when the person is unable to repay on account of some financial difficulty. Some other categories of people can also benefit from this kind of insurance. What kind of people would find this product beneficial? There are lots but the most prominent of these include people suffering from infirmity, loss of employment, calamity, any other type of disability, giving rise to failure to reimburse the EMI’s on loans. Is this not a major stride forward? As your insurance is looking after your loan monthly reimbursement, you no more have got to be anxious regarding the strain.
Do you have any idea of the chronicle of joint loan insurance? Believe it or not, there does exist an opportunity to take on joint loan insurance. But it can be done by people, in particular those who have adopted a joint loan application, rendering your collaborator and you coverage at one fell swoop. In case of an accident met with one partner, the other will get the benefits.
Many a time, business grows to the extent that it becomes hard for the business owner to manage every department and to take care of each chunk of the human resource. In that case, he/she may outsource one (or some) of the departments to another company. The other company, which will take over a certain division of the business on fixed annual or monthly payments, is known as the managed service company.
Very often, the work force is also hired by the managed service company. Everyone in this work force is the employ of the managed service company and not of the organization, which is outsourcing its department(s).
There are different types of managed services. This article discusses the most prevalent forms of the managed services.
Type of Managed Services # 1: Managed services for IT Department
Many businesses hire managed services for their IT departments. A managed service for IT department is responsible for providing all the hardware equipment (like PCs and web servers etc.), all the required software, LAN and/or WAN equipment. The managed services company/contractor has to make sure that everything works properly and also has to handle all the IT related problems and complaints.
Usually large multinational, corporate organizations outsource their whole IT department. It saves them capital for buying new equipment. It also saves them from management and maintenance hassle.
Type of Managed Services # 2: Managed services for Email Management
Sometimes many companies do not require a separate IT department. However, their setup requires generation of hundreds (if not thousands) of emails every day. In that case, the company might require a separate email exchange system. The managed services company/contractor would be responsible for uninterrupted email generation through an efficient program (software) and for all the attached privacy requirements and settings.
Type of Managed Services # 3: Managed services for Customer Support and Service
Many organizations arrange for the managed services regarding customer support and service. This may include only telephonic customer support or on-venue customer support (or both). The managed services company for the customer support and service is responsible for ensuring the customer satisfaction and loyalty through state of the art customer handling techniques.
Type of Managed Services # 4: Managed services for Web Hosting
These days it sounds impossible for a business to operate without a website. However, the business owner does not have to be a web page developer and designer to have the company’s website. One can hire a managed services company for the website design, development, and maintenance. It is one of the simplest examples of the managed services as the website development services from another company takes only a few hundred dollars and the maintenance might even cost less than a hundred dollars monthly.
Type of Managed Services # 5: Managed services for Health Care Plans/Insurance
The mammoth corporate and many multinational organizations offer health care services and insurance facilities to their employs. Usually this is also handled by a managed services company (in this case, a health insurance company).
The managed service company for health care plans and insurance is responsible of finding and engaging hospitals and clinics for the employs. They have to verify and process all the medical claims entered by the employs of an organization.
Type of Managed Services # 6: Managed services for Goods Distribution
The mass producing goods companies often require hiring managed services for their product distribution. In that case, the managed company is responsible for distributing goods at proper timelines, arranging logistics and for getting all the required distribution licenses.