In marketing, like investing, it is having the greatest understanding of how the overall system works that will give you the best results.

Fads are always coming and going. Whether it is a new social media platform, a new type of content, or a new technology, you can be sure to hear someone praising the perfection of the latest and greatest.

While a new marketing tool is great, it is important to remember that it is merely a tool; a single component of marketing. The reason that the successful investor will make steady gains over time is that they take the long view and follow the core principles. The same applies to marketing, and at its core is the marketing plan, the collection of marketing related activities that are put together to create an outcome that is greater than the individual components could ever achieve on their own.

A good marketing plan will address all aspects of the marketing mix, but more importantly, it will show all components in relation to one another in a logical order to meet specific targets and deadlines.

Depending on your resources, this could be as simple as coordinating a social media campaign with a live promotional event leading up to a product launch. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the complex campaigns run by multinationals. However, a key component that does not change is that there is a core message, a set of channels to communicate that message, and specific purposes for each component.

Consider how your business runs its marketing. Is there a coordinated strategy behind the set of activities? Does the social media compliment the print? Does the packaging enhance the loyalty? Are your campaigns leading up to industry events? Make sure there is a logical progression.

The better your marketing activities complement one another, the more powerful your overall marketing effort will be, and the easiest way to make this clear is through writing it out as a marketing plan.