50% Of Small Businesses Do Not Have A Marketing Plan

New research indicates the number of small business owners who do not have a marketing plan is at 50%.

Research conducted by MarketingScapes found that while many small business owners believe they have marketing plans, nearly a quarter aren’t planning for the future. The study included 1,500 small business owners in the U.S. who sell less than $50,000 worth of their goods or services.

This is particularly concerning given the increased interest and opportunities in marketing by larger and smaller businesses alike, said Andrew Goldbach, Founder and CEO of MarketingScapes. But because of the fickle nature of business, not having a marketing plan could end up costing a small business far more than it would ever spend on advertising.

Interestingly, the study found that having marketing plans is more important than having specific metrics for measuring success. Nearly one third of small business owners reported that having a marketing plan was more important than having specific metrics for measuring success. That did not hold true among larger businesses, which is not a surprise considering larger companies have specific metrics for measuring success.

Creating a marketing plan is about much more than simply creating a business plan, said Goldbach. The market shifts so quickly that it is hard to know what to do five years from now, and someone who spends little time planning their business is going to miss the boat.

The report, Marketing and Strategic Planning: The Growing Risks for Small Businesses highlighted a few strategies to make sure your small business has a marketing plan. These included looking at the types of media your business has, specifically, media the business sells but isn’t targeting yet.

Herein lies the real risk for small businesses, said Goldbach. The success of the media business is really the success of your customers. If you have only 10 television commercials but three million customers, you are still going to be less effective than if you have 20 commercials and three million customers.

Crowdsourcing and integrated media can also play a role in creating a marketing plan that balances risk and reward. When advertising through social media, having a defined marketing goal target audience, products, brand or service, etc.) makes it easier to optimize the campaign’s success.

Social media can help by working with a trusted partner, said Goldbach. You may be able to launch a campaign and work with a very intelligent influencer like a blogger to get the message out, but if your partner is stuck on doing a 30-second spot on YouTube or something, it’s really hard to engage customers.

The full report can be found here.