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How to Create Your Marketing Plan in 10 Easy Steps. Step #2: Don't Put the Cart Before the Horse

When it comes to building your brand, do first things first.

Last week, we started with Step #1 for Building Your Marketing Plan: Create a Unique Selling Proposition. We established that you want to ensure that your brand can truly carve out a niche in the marketplace and that there is a valid reason to bring your brand to market in the first place.

Let’s now move onto Step #2: Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse.

This step addresses the overall approach you will take in thinking about and building your business, ensuring that you are moving forward in a logical way.

First things first.

We discussed in previous posts that your plan serves as your GPS system that is going to guide you on your journey for taking your brand where you want it to go.  When you create your plan, you first want to think about your objectives and strategies.  Only when this is complete can you then connect the dots with the tactics, the specific actions that help you to achieve those goals.

You are also going to want to nail down all of your branding elements (like your logo and other identity pieces) as well as your key marketing messages before you embark on creating your marketing materials.  This becomes important for budgeting purposes, too.  For example, you won’t want to pay to design your logo and brand identity until you have clearly positioned your brand, as the positioning will inform the way these pieces are created.  If you don’t do first things first, you risk having to backtrack which will cost your business time and money.

Creating your brand will require some investment and you want to really be sure you are prioritizing your resources.  When you create this marketing blueprint, it will allow you to first see the big picture and you can then best decide where you want to invest your money and time for the strongest return.

Once your plan is done – first stay focused on what you have laid out as your key priorities that will make the biggest impact. It can be tempting, but don’t get distracted by every opportunity that comes along.

By sequencing events in the right order, you can create a natural building process that evolves in a logical way.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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