Your marketing plan is a document that needs to be updated regularly so if you haven’t looked at your marketing plan since January 2011, now is the time to pull it out and take a fresh look at it.
If in the past you had a template or ‘file save as’ marketing plan approach, it’s time to upgrade. Your business is a unique entity and regardless of how many different DIY templates you refer to, you will operate your business differently and have a unique relationship with your customers. Therefore a ‘one size fits all approach’ will only deliver to you general strategies that may or may not work. Your marketing dollars are better spent on specific actions designed to deliver real results to your business.
Another concern with the template-based approach is the documents themselves can be very out of date. For example, digital marketing is taking off and if your business isn’t taking advantage of it you’re missing out on opportunities to grow your business. Free templates will probably not cover ‘new technologies’ well.
In essence your marketing plan should be a way in which you define your competition and clearly articulate what you do well and identify your point of difference. A DIY template will struggle to deliver that to you.