You will often hear how important it is to have a marketing plan for your business, and to stick to it, but this article by Sara Drawwater suggests that that's not always necessarily the case.
Namely, while having a plan can be useful, in terms of knowing what your ideal outcomes are and how to get there, it can also be a waste of time.
For a plan to be useful it has to feel active and achievable, otherwise it'll end up forgotten in a drawer.
Rather than writing a 25 page document, I would recommend spending a few minutes every week remembering, or reassessing, what your goals are, and giving yourself a few action points to take care of. That way, you regularly keep an eye on the bigger picture, while not letting the creating of a plan disrupt your day-to-day without cause.
Many of the guides available are more applicable for traditional business models and they haven’t evolved as fast as businesses have had to. Today it’s important to include social media in your marketing plans and many of the guides I found have not yet included this aspect — another reason why the marketing plan can be perceived as outdated. Most plans advise you to write things like your commitment and mission statement which are often convoluted untruths very disjointed from the actual customer experience you provide. This is especially true for larger organisations. Use these in the wrong way and you’ll do more harm than good.