Why have an effective Marketing Plan before you do your marketing? Because businesses have tried “doing marketing” and not achieved the results they expected.
Even with an “expert” like an SEO “guru”, website developer, graphic designer, lead generation person, sales trainer, copywriter, social media guru or digital marketer you often don’t always get the right results. Why? Because all the pieces like branding, website, content, social media, digital, networking and sales process just to name a few, aren’t in place.
Without having an effective Marketing Plan in place before you start “doing marketing”, you are driving around in circles, never quite knowing if you’re going to reach destination business goal, or even if you’re on the right road.
But how do you create a marketing plan? It sounds like a daunting task if you’re not a marketer. Well, there’s no right or wrong answer to that question. But the main answer is that you have to start and use some sort of framework.
An effective Marketing Plan can cover hundreds of strategies and tactics. So we decided to explore different ways of putting together an integrated Marketing Plan, not just our own Integrated Marketing Plan Roadmap.
I recently interviewed the best-selling author of the One-Page Marketing Plan, Allan Dib on our Marketing Strategy Show podcast series to talk about his one-page Marketing Plan book and framework for developing an effective Marketing Plan.
Allan’s one-page Marketing Plan book divides a Marketing Plan into three phases (Before, During and After becoming a client) and we have summarised each of the steps in the process below:
Stage 1. Prospecting (before)
This is about identifying who your absolute target market is, the right messages to engage them and the right channels to reach them.
a. Target Market
A target market is someone that you would like working with, somebody that is profitable to work with, somebody that really values what you do. You should define an ideal customer to be able to craft a message that appeals to them.
When conversing with your target market you want to craft your message in a way that is going to motivate them to respond to your message. So you really want to tap into the emotional element with your message, get to the things that are keeping them up at night, the things that are behind the surface of what they want to do.
How are you going to get your message to your target market?This is how we reach our target market with our message? This is all about really finding out where does your target market hang out, where are they present, and being there and reaching them with the media that they’re most comfortable with.
Very often, this is the most expensive part of your marketing. It could include channels like the following:
- Email Marketing
- Google Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Print media
- Tradeshows or Events
- Social media
Stage 2. Converting (during)
Hopefully, by the end of the first phase, your target knows that you exist, and they’ve indicated interest. Now you have to make sure you don’t lose the people who have indicated interest. So this phase is about turning those who have indicated interest into a customer.
a. Lead Capture
To make sure you don’t lose the people who arrive on your website you must capture them. You must capture them in a database – ideally a CRM system. A good CRM system will allow you to segment and tag them. So you can tag people as being either partners, prospects or just contacts or tag people as being interested in a particular product or service that you offer. That gives you the opportunity to customise your interaction with them better.
b. Lead Nurture
Lead nurturing is all about creating a better educated prospect. If what you’ve got to offer is a good product and a good service, the best thing that you can have is a highly educated prospect around knowing what you do. This also means positioning yourself as an expert in your target market, an authority in your industry and taking them through that process of really becoming their trusted advisor. Then make sure you are present when your target decides to buy.
It is recommended to use a multichannel approach to nurturing because some people respond to different modalities better.
c. Sales Conversion
This is about encouraging your target to make their first transaction. It’s easiest if you have built a good relationship with them along the way and got them to realise that you create value for them when they buy. So, if you’ve done the first five steps right, if you’ve done your marketing right, if you’ve chosen your target market right, you’ve done your lead nurturing right, your messaging’s all good, sales conversion just becomes order taking. It just becomes really natural. Trial before you buy is a very good strategy here.
Stage 3. Building long-term (after)
This phase is where the money is made because by now you’ve most likely spent a lot of money to acquire a customer. Now you want to make sure that you’re not just transactional, but that you’re converting people into fans, people who want to buy from you repeatedly. You want to deliver a world-class experience to them.
We don’t want people who are just either negative or passive about our business, but we want people who are promoters of your business. Create a great customer experience by making them feel like you are there for them at any stage of their journey. Make sure they get the result they were hoping for when buying your product.
b. Lifetime Value
How would you know if your clients are loyal if you are not tracking it – right? It’s more than just tacking something on that will increase your margin. Increasing lifetime value is ensuring that the client is maintaining a really good experience and that they won’t turn away to another provider. You need to be very proactive in helping your client get a great experience, and ensuring that they’re buying your product in the right volume and the right frequency and in the right packaging that they need to get that experience.
Testimonials make your business more trustworthy and therefore generate more sales. A lot of people are very passive about referrals. They feel like they’re either begging for business or looking desperate but there are ways of positioning, orchestrating, and stimulating referrals without looking desperate, and doing it in a way that actually helps your target market refer you.
It’s very important to be highly specific when you’re wanting referrals, but also making the referral process very easy and simple for someone to do.
Make sure that in building your marketing plan, your marketing objectives are aligned with your business goals and strategy. Put all the nine steps together in one place, which is what a good plan should do, and help you get the right direction.
You really need to understand that the best marketer wins every time.
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