Equestrian Marketing Planning is Like Riding a Jump Course

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About Amanda MacDonaldwhy marketing planning is like a jump courseMarketing strategy is knowing what you need to accomplish, where you need to land in the end and are allowed some flexibility in your ride/journey. You then learn to adapt and think quickly, make decisions and get more comfortable in trusting your gut.  This is all biz school/entrepreneur coaching that you find online everyday.

While watching Daniel Stewart give a super engaging jumping clinic this past weekend, calling out a different number of strides required, types of lines needed and an even or odd fence to land on, for each rider, it struck me that a marketing plan has lots in common with this approach.

Part of my recent series of 50 Tips for Equine Marketing on social media, having a plan is NUMERO UNO.

 (You want the whole enchilada? Sign up at the right and download the book for nada!)

But, you say, I’m just a small business. I don’t need a business/marketing plan.

Alright, then. Do you have a full description of your ideal customer? Do you know what your end game looks like? Are you going to require outside financing to get there? Do you have a strategy, not unlike your course ride, that will guide you to the end game? Do you know what is critical to spend time on vs non-critical and can be put off? Can you answer any/all of these key questions?

And like a set course ride, your strategy helps define and clarify what you are doing, why you are doing it, and is a must have if you need to ask for outside funding. And like the clinic exercise above, a plan helps keep you focused on what you must accomplish, even if you don’t execute it in a particular order.

People that choose to enter into the equine business world already know how to put the work in and understand dedication.  There are no bankers hours with horses in the mix. Knowing what to work hard upon, and what should be a Phase II or even Phase III tactic, can be the make or break point.

I’ve seen many otherwise intelligent people get caught up in wanting to do something tactical without first understanding why they are doing it. It’s actually pretty common response to not having or being willing to follow a plan. This ends up looking like a jump course where someone is randomly calling off fence numbers while a rider is cantering in the ring. Lines get awkward, stops happen, chips occur, confusion reigns. As a whole, it doesn’t accomplish the end game of a smooth, thought out round.

Before running off to do anything at all, be sure it accomplishes the wider goal. Have a plan and be sure it fits into the bigger goal that year. Sit down, put fingers to type pad and start with a brainstorm of what you need to accomplish first, then make a list of how you expect to get. If you realize this is missing, and don’t know where to begin, please feel free to contact me for help and support.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Hi, I’m Amanda!  As a life-long equestrian, I understand the importance of keeping our horses healthy, happy and well-appointed. And with over 15 years of experience in marketing, I can help you to translate that shared goal into a brand that drives sales. I’ve mastered marketing strategy, branding, website production and digital media marketing, and led successful teams to bring it all together.  So it’s a pleasure to offer my services and knowledge to those who make my life more enjoyable, and to bring new products and services to others to keep our horses happy and healthy. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn!