Even before the days of the Internet when advertising was done solely through television, billboards, magazines, radio and direct mailing, strategic marketing planning could often make or break a company. Considering the high cost of all forms of marketing, making a mistake about where to advertise and whom to focus the advertising on could lose a company thousands upon thousands of dollars. While some forms of advertising and promotion are much less costly today, planning your advertising strategy for success is still just as important.

An old saying says that embarking on anything without a plan is a little bit like trying to get to a place you’ve never been without a map. And it is true that people who make plans and write down their goals are more likely to achieve them than those who just have a general idea where they’re going and no real concrete plans about how to do it, and no definite idea about when they should arrive. Your strategic marketing planning can give you a road map, and even an idea of when you should see results, and how good those results should be.

Let’s continue the idea of the traveler with no map and no real sense of his destination. What happens when he gets where he wanted to go, and it turns out to not be the place he’d dreamed of. What then? Without a plan, he’s got no real recourse except to keep going aimlessly or to go back the way he came. With strategic marketing planning, once you see your results and they’re not what you’d hoped for, you have a plan in place to deal with it. You have set measures for how to make changes and improvements to work toward the results you wanted in the beginning. You’re working toward a goal, not meandering aimlessly and using intuition and guesswork to build your business.

When you’re ready for strategic marketing planning, consider sitting down with the experts and building your plan. You can find a consultant who will just help you with the plan, should you not want to hire someone to handle promotions altogether. But just having an expert help you with your promotion planning can confirm for you that what you’re doing is sound. And it can make sure that your goals are achievable, too, so you can avoid the disappointment of setting goals that are too high to reach.

Strategic marketing planning gives you a concrete result to aim for. You know what you want, now it’s just up to you to take the steps to achieve it. And as the results come in, you’ll have methods of adjusting your plan to build upon those good results, or steer your promotional activities away from methods that aren’t working. You’ll know how to adjust certain promotions to make them work better, and how to judge whether a specific type of promotion just isn’t right for your business. With strategic marketing planning, you’ll always have a step ready for you to take next.