Planning Vs. Gambling with Your Marketing Plan

“Ladies and gentleman! Step right up and place your bets! The name of the game is ‘Marketing Roulette’ and a jackpot is waiting for you… if Lady Luck is on your side!”

If that’s the voice in your head when you review your marketing plan, you’re not crazy, you’re just thinking short-term. An effective marketing plan is a long-term game plan with strategies and contingency plans—not just a good hunch.

Hold off on playing another hand in high-stakes speculation for 90 seconds, and check out this short slice. Were I a betting man, I would wager a pretty penny that you’ll take a second look at your marketing plan.

Click to tweet this: Before you double-down on your marketing bet, think about your 5 year plan. @DaveCrenshaw

Video transcription:

Do you have a marketing plan? And if so, how far into the future is it?

You might be shocked to learn that most business owners don’t have a marketing plan beyond about thirty to forty-five days. This is a bit like playing a slot machine. You just keep on putting money in and wondering if you’re going to get a payoff. This is the definition of chaos.

So how do we transition to longer term thinking?

First of all, ask yourself personally: what do you want your life to be like five years from now?

Second, in order to create that life, what does your business need to look like five years from now? In particular, who are you selling to and what are you selling?

Number three, divide that five year business vision in half—bring it to 2.5 years.

And then number four, ask yourself the question: “What now?” What next action step do you need to take, to make that vision become a reality?

I’d like you to share in the comments section below: how far out into the future is your marketing plan—a year, two years, a month? Please share that in the comments section below.

Also, if you have a question you’d like me to answer, ask that below as well.

Thanks for watching. Now please stop gambling and start planning.

Join the conversation: How far out into the future is your marketing plan—a year, two years, a month?

I respond to every question and comment. So, please, join the conversation!


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6 Archived Responses to “Planning Vs. Gambling with Your Marketing Plan”

  1. Brian says:

    I completely agree with you on this one. My marketing plan seems like it is weekly and monthly versus yearly and long term. I like your slot machine analogy. I think that approach seems more realistic to us small business owners because we don’t all have a solid game plan and are using a “trial and error” approach to se what works best for us. Thank you for the incite. I am starting to work on my long term marketing plan. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks for your candid reply, Brian. And I’d agree there’s nothing wrong with trial and error, as long as it’s measured. Video from a couple of years ago: http://davecrenshaw.com/small-business-marketing/

      What this video is asking you to think about–and I think you’ve got it–is *where* all of this is going? Is our marketing helping us build the long term vision of business, or is it just hand-to-mouth? If all we’re focused on is paying the bills and making payroll, then we’ll find it hard to move the business to a new level of prosperity.

  2. Eugene says:

    great analogy! id like to think our master plan for marketing and business growth is a ten year plan with big picture benchmarks laid out per year. Smaller annual plans are set with strategies to reach markets we are currently engaged in while the long term plans are for areas we intend to grow into. Thanks for the tips.

    • Nice, Eugene. I believe your business is in a growth pattern that most small businesses aspire to. So your example of long-term strategic thinking is exactly what I’m hoping to inspire in the minds of those aren’t there yet. Thank you!

  3. I love the quickies that sets one thinking long term. Do you have other similar ones on marketing and innovative templates for marketing plans