Why? Well, apart from that being an absurd question to begin with, at least you asked why.

Marketing is a discipline often overlooked by small business, and one that can at times be hard to justify investing in. However, the reality is that in order to succeed in today's modern business landscape you need to be in it to win it. How do we know this? A combination of years of marketing research, accompanied with other disciplines of study outside of marketing.

"Marketing investment can often be overlooked by Small Businesses"

The research and study come together by various means, and always point towards a need to use marketing plans that provide a blue print and structure for our marketing efforts. There are two forms of research and study in marketing I'll focus on today. The first is a by-product of countless hours of post-campaign analysis occurring at the end of [almost] every marketing campaign that has ever run in modern times. The second is a result of scientific research into neurology, accompanied with the marketer's desire to understand what makes a good or bad creative. Both forms of research and study however, begin with why.

Morse Group discuss whether YOU need marketing at all...

The first form comes from the marketing industry's fixation with planning, measuring and post-analysing the success of every campaign. This has led to a variety of post analysis evaluation methods arising, my personal favourite being econometric modelling. Econometric modelling is whereby statisticians look at all known variables that occur whilst a marketing campaign is taking place. This includes political activity, consumer confidence, global economies and current affairs as well as business growth, competition, sales data, price point and product availability (among numerous other variables). These brilliantly minded and beautiful people then break down the data, analyse it, and are able to attribute physical dollars to impacts on one's marketing efforts. That is, they can tell you to the highest degree of available accuracy, how much each dollar you spent in that TV or Radio campaign, delivered in ROI. As a result of this, you KNOW that some marketing efforts work extremely well, some are okay, and some don't work at all.

Pretty amazing, right?

The second form is that of neurological study, and the genius of one individual who decided to use it to measure the impact creative stimulus has on the brain. The basic premise of these studies is that they occur in a controlled environment, where individuals are connected up to equipment that measures their brainwaves. When a great piece of advertising creative appears, you can see these brainwaves spike. When a poor piece of creative appears, very little happens. Some amazing results indeed!

The underlying premise behind these marketing studies we have discussed is that when it comes to selling and marketing your business, giving consideration to WHY you are doing something in a particular way leads you to begin to understand what works and what doesn't in marketing efforts, and WHY this is.

It means that while your competition continue to post letters out, costing them money to design, print and distribute said letters once a month, you have the capability to send a custom email with the same information to all your contacts in half the time and at a fraction of the cost. It means that you develop branding strategies that lead people to begin to identify with your business, what you do and what you stand for. Ultimately, it means growing your business.

So, why would you bother with a marketing plan? Because you want to succeed for starters…