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Keep Individual Marketing Plans Simple

Many years ago, when I was ready to graduate college and seek gainful employment, I applied to work at the Central Intelligence Agency. Recently, I have seen some individual marketing plans that rivaled the CIA application in their level of detail.

My experience has been that such intense templates frighten the hooey out of fledgling business developers. On the other side, experienced rainmakers usually don’t have the time or the interest to complete so much paperwork, because they’re busy bringing in new clients, selling more services to current clients, and making money for themselves and their partners. They usually will tolerate a brief outline, but not much more.

Marketing just doesn’t have to be all that complex, and it should never take a cookie-cutter approach. Just as all humans differ somewhat, so should an individual marketing plan. For some people, a simple checklist of tasks with deadlines attached will be plenty. Some plans can and should be more sophisticated, outlining how they will handle services to new clients, who their referral sources are now and who they should be in the future, and which specific individuals or businesses should be targeted as prospects. That’s plenty of paper. Any more than that and you might be shooting yourself in the business development foot.

While the only real key to marketing is doing (by finding, creating, and sustaining relationships), planning is the best way to ensure you execute efficiently and effectively.

© Melinda Guillemette 2009