Marketing plan software developers suggest that their tool will help you create a plan for your company without knowing anything about marketing. All you have to do, they say, is point and click.
So the question is, do they really work for your business? As a marketing coach, I’m inclined to say no. And yes. Let me explain.
Like all tools, you’re going to get out the equivalent of what you put in. This is true both for your investment in the tool and in your ability to use it effectively.
A $100 hammer is the same as a $10 hammer in the hands of rookie carpenter who has never hammered in a nail before. But in the hands of a journeyman carpenter, that same $10 hammer can be used much more effectively. And when you combine the higher quality hammer with the expert carpenter, the output potential is much greater.
But do you really need a $100 hammer and a journeyman carpenter to hang a picture frame? The obvious answer is, “no, you don’t.” But if you’re hanging a masterpiece, you want to be darn sure that it looks great and won’t fall off the wall!
What I’m getting at here is that there are many factors that you need to take into account when you’re trying to determine whether or not to use marketing plan software to create a plan for your business. If you do decide you use software, which version will you use?
What Hammers and Marketing Plan Software Have In Common
A marketing plan is an essential component of any successful business because it describes both the business objectives, core customer base (or target market) as well as the competitive factors that stand in your way.
Since your business requires customers to survive and thrive, and since marketing is about the acquisition and retention of customers, your marketing plan will ultimately determine the fate of your business.
For that reason, the future of your company could rest upon your decision about whether or not to use marketing plan software to create the plan that your business will rely on for the foreseeable future.
Just like the journeyman carpenter who can use just about any hammer to do an above average job, you also need the marketing and business savvy to create an effective marketing plan for your business. When you have that essential knowledge, which hammer you use (your selection of marketing plan software) becomes less important because you’re more likely to produce an above average result.
Of course, again like the expert carpenter, when you combine exceptional knowledge with exceptional tools, the likelihood of producing a masterpiece goes up exponentially.
So, when it comes to marketing plan software, the key lies not in the tool you select, but in your experience and level of understanding of core marketing concepts and principles.