Learning to Bob and Weave: How To Have a Flexible Marketing Plan

Flexible Marketing PlanBy Dawn Berryman

“One of the greatest challenges to success is learning how to stay focused on your goals while remaining flexible enough to adapt to needed change. Stress and success constraints are caused when people are too fixed and rigid in their beliefs about how things SHOULD be. Learn to bob and weave. Realize it’s OK to say, “I changed my mind.” Have you been too rigid on your goals in the past and missed something even greater?”

Darren Hardy, Publisher-Success Magazine

A friend of mine recently posted this on Facebook and it resonated with me. Do you agree? Why or why not?

When it comes to marketing, I always stress that a marketing plan is a fluid document. It should be flexible and changeable. No matter how much research and background work you do, you never really know what efforts are going to pay off most once you start. There is no way to predict the future, even with the most educated of guessing.

But, it isn’t that narrow. Marketing isn’t the only aspect of your business that should be fluid. To some extent, your entire business should be. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t have a stated mission, a business plan, or a concrete goal. You absolutely should. But, you shouldn’t be so rigid that you aren’t willing to change as needed.

Take for example the real estate market. When it took a huge dive many businesses had to readjust and in many times reinvent themselves to stay afloat. It isn’t always that drastic.

For instance, if you run a baby boutique, or any clothing boutique, you need to be aware of trends and styles and how quickly they change. To stay one step ahead of your competition, you need to always offer what is new, exciting and popular at the moment. That can be tricky, but it can be done with some creativity and constant attention to detail.

And, it isn’t always that black and white either. Everyone starts their business for a different reason. Everyone has specific goals in mind when they do and everyone has a vision for how they want it to run and the purpose they want it to serve. So, what happens when that vision changes? It can be gradual over a period of time, or in some cases it can be abrupt. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Sometimes, it is necessary to change directions, adapt, or just admit you’ve changed your mind. Recognizing this is a sign of maturity and professionalism, I think. If you’ve been having this feeling, I encourage you to embrace it and not shy away from it. It could very well lead you somewhere exciting.

This isn’t to say you should go through a rebranding campaign every quarter. Too much change, too frequently can be seen as indecisiveness and insecurity. I think what Hardy says about learning to bob and weave is key. It’s the little changes and adaptations that will help you to be most successful.

The term success is subjective; it means something different to all of us. And for all of us, the path to get there is different. Many of us do not have a straight, unobstructed path. The majority of the time, the path is full of detours and wrong turns. My advice is to enjoy the ride and pay attention to the lessons along the way.

Dawn Berryman is the founder of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University and has worked in the marketing/communications field for more than 8 years. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband and two young children. For more information, please see: Market Mommy.

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