Marketing Plans and Watering Grass Have a Lot in Common

I spent a goodly amount of time recently trying to get my lawn looking healthy. I’d really be happy if I could get it all green at the same time. To accomplish this task means moving sprinklers around the garden in the hope that I will get the proper amount of water and attention to all areas. As I was going about this exercise, it dawned on me that maintaining a healthy lawn is a lot like maintaining a good marketing plan.

Like the lawn, the marketing plan requires just the right amount of attention to each component to ensure success.

Just when I think that I’ve gotten all the right pieces in place to complete the market puzzle, something comes up missing. One of the major components is lacking. I usually find this out when the mix of my business is not what I would like it to be.

I seem to get side-tracked. I spend time on a newsletter only to realize that perhaps I should have spent more time with other direct mail projects, networking ( a real part of marketing) or giving seminars. No matter how hard I try, the mix never seems to be producing the perfect result I want at the time I want it.

Is it possible that just maybe, some of the larger corporations – even large companies – might run into this same problem at one time or another?

How do the people in marketing departments fine tune their programs? What happens if too much emphasis is given to one area at the expense of another? Do they wait until the market mix is less than optimum to make changes? What is the cost in terms of lost sales, opportunity and market share?

And now the big question…. What dictates the mix of marketing ingredients? What is the right proportion of direct mail, public relations, networking, advertising, sales promotion, trade shows, community and government relations?

How often do you look at your business and think maybe it’s time to fine tune your market plan? Is this an exercise that you perform on a regularly scheduled basis or do you wait for something to happen? What are the tell-tale signs that let you know that things are not as they should be?

As I kept moving sprinklers around, I realized that every area doesn’t always require the same amount of water. There are other factors that influence my success. A little fertilizer and sunshine added to the recipe can change the amount of water needed.

Next time you’re confronted with an out of balance market mix and can’t seem to get a handle on the solution, try leaving the office, going home, and watering the lawn.

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