Great marketing results start with a great marketing plan.
As long as that plan is implemented well and measured regularly, the leads, and then the sales, will come. So let’s look at what a great marketing plan contains…
To succeed you need something to aim at. The best sport stars have trophies/medals they want to win; it is no different for you as a business owner. Setting a target gives you:
- Something to aim for
- Something to plan around
- A way to measure how well you are doing in your financial year.
Many business owners will have a growth target – XX% more than last year – they use to determine what their target for the year is. Alternatively you may want to have a client number target. For some reason, most IT companies want to add one new client a week. Don’t know why, but that seems to be a standard goal for that industry.
Whatever your target is, you then use it to assess how much marketing has to be done.
Target to marketing goals
Your numbers will help you identify how many sales you need to make, how many leads you need and therefore, how much marketing you need to do. By working out how much marketing you need to do, you can develop a better marketing plan.
Your target audiences
By including your target audiences, and Ideal Clients, within your marketing plan, you make sure that everyone involved knows who they are aiming at. They know who they are talking to and so will use the right language and terminology.
A plan that is talking about ‘anyone’ and ’everyone’ too much, you run the risk of generic, non-specific language. If you’ve read anything about marketing focus, you’ll know the more specific you are in your marketing messages, the more effective they will be.
You almost certainly have have multiple target audiences, you may want to alternate between audiences within your marketing plan, if budgets are limited. Of course, if your marketing budget allows you to focus on more than one audience each month, feel free.
The marketing channels you are going to use
What are you going to do and how often is the core of your marketing plan. For your marketing to be successful, it has to be consistent and coordinated. If your approach is expertise-led you may have something like this:
- One blog a month, each looking to help your target audience with a key issue.
- A company page post on LinkedIn each week, sharing a key point in the blog.
- Two tweets a week, around the same topic, looking for engagement and sharing to increase your reach.
- A set of email campaigns, aimed at the different segments within your mailing list, to maintain and increase awareness and generate leads.
If you are using other marketing channels, you must make sure they link with these too.
Who is doing what
If you don’t allocate each marketing activity to specific people, you run the risk of ‘I thought Bob/Dave/Sarah was doing it’. When everyone knows what is expected of them, they can plan their own time and make sure everything happens when it should.
It, almost, goes without saying that your team members have agreed to what has been allocated to them…
& by when
When your team know what they have to do, they also need to know when they have to have it done by. In a ideal world, your marketing is ready well ahead of time, giving you some leeway – just in case. Getting things done ahead of time also allow you the opportunity to make a change, should an opportunity arise.
Space for the results
With any plan, you do three things:
- Develop the plan.
- Implement the plan.
- Measure the performance of the plan.
By measuring what happens, you can make sure you remain on target to achieve, or even beat, the targets at the top of this article. If things aren’t working, you have the opportunity to make changes too. You can get a free Marketing ROI Calculator here.
These 7 parts will be in all good marketing plans. Are they in yours? If they are not, give us a call on 020 8634 5911 and lets talk about getting your plan better structured and working effectively.