Now is the time to review your marketing plan and determine where you are spending the most money, if you are meeting your target audiences and planning for the best return on your marketing investment. The goal is to achieve a well-balanced plan that reaches across sales strategies and results in profitable margins.

A review of your plan will show you where you are spending your marketing dollars and demonstrate which groups have responded vigorously. Pockets of poor response should signal the time to determine why this is happening and what needs to be done to change the outcome in the future. This is especially important at a time when marketing opportunities have been reduced and budgets are running on a thin margin. You need to be extremely specific about spending marketing dollars with the most accuracy for return.

If sales have swung toward a different target group, are you able to move product and promotion in that direction swiftly? Your marketing plan should be flexible enough to seek out new markets and shift emphasis when trends present themselves. This may require different packaging, promotion and positioning. The better suited you are to make operational changes to meet these needs, the more likely you are to achieve success even in a different marketing environment.

Even the best marketing plans cannot encompass all critical concerns. You know your product or service well enough to prepare for changes that could demand new advertising and promotion strategies. Outlining the steps toward moving in a new direction will give you a place to begin and the momentum to move forward quickly.

One important concept to remember is to remain true to your mission. You may have to initiate changes to your marketing plan, but the concept for your business should be the foundation that stays in place. If you think you must totally revamp your marketing plan, base your decisions on the mission you first envisioned. Do your new goals meet with your resources and vision?

Coordinating your budget with marketing changes can be challenging. New requirements may mean contractual changes or reassigning funds from one promotional project to another. Be careful when allocating resources to match your funds with the best prospects for success. If moving from one target sales group to another, does the prospect project benefits in the long run? Are there ways to meet short-term objectives without significant risks? It is important during the marketing plan review to look at both achievable immediate goals and long-term sustainability.

Take the time to review your marketing plan and determine how to use it wisely to plan for success. Try to match resources with the best prospects for return. Examine the risks and change directions when it seems appropriate to do so. Remain true to your original mission but built fluidity into your plan to meet operational needs as the needs of your customers change. You are seeking a well-balanced plan that best positions your product or service for success.

The above information is presented for educational purposes and should not be substituted for professional business and legal counseling.