Last week I talked about time and project management, and three weeks ago about becoming clear about top priorities, so I thought today would be a great time to talk about planning.
The definition of Plan is: "A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something."
I've observed that when it comes to marketing, most of us don't plan. Instead we have vague wishes and goals of what we'd like to do. For instance:
- Do more speaking
- Start or complete a web site
- Join organizations and do more networking
- Start a monthly email newsletter (eZine)
OK, nothing wrong with these or other goals, but they are not marketing action plans. Ultimately these need to be translated into project lists as I discussed last week, but planning is the step before that.
Let me give you my complete formula for creating workable marketing action plans:
1. Service Offered
What exactly is the service you are offering? Make it as tangible as possible, not vague or indefinite.
I.e., Individual Management Consulting and Coaching Program for senior managers in Fortune 1000 companies. Fee is $20,000. Time commitment is one year.
Also be clear about the results that you will deliver with your service or program.
2. Target Market
Who are your ideal clients? Don't waste your time marketing to those who are not the perfect clients for you.
I.e., My ideal clients are top managers in Fortune 1000 companies. They are successful, but at a turning point in their careers and looking at how to build a legacy that will last long after they leave the company.
You really have to know your ideal clients well. Don't just make this up; it needs to be based on solid experience.
3. Marketing Objective
This is the ultimate result or goal you want to accomplish with your marketing plan. I've found that a specific, measurable objective such as X number of clients bringing in Y dollars by a specific date is the kind of clarity you need.
I.e., Five new consulting clients by the end of the year who pay a minimum of $20,000 - totaling a minimum of $100,000.
Now that's a real objective!
4. Additional Intentions
In the course of pursing your objective you should have other goals or intentions. These are other things you'll accomplish that will support the achievement of your objective.
I.e., More visibility and credibility with my target market, increase skills in the area of speaking and writing, one or more joint venture relationships, close a higher percentage of prospects per marketing conversation, etc.
Note that none of these should be your ultimate objective, they are only a means to an end.
5. Marketing Strategy or Method
You may have a primary marketing strategy you'll use, but it might be a combination of strategies.
I.e. Speaking, teleclasses, follow-up by email and phone.
Going in, you may not know all the how-tos of these strategies; you may have to research and study them first.
6. Marketing Materials
What written or online materials will you need to communicate about your services to your target market?
I.e. Service write-up on web site, presentation for talk and/or teleclass, article for follow-up, phone script, etc.
Resources are time, money and manpower.
I.e., X dollars and hours to develop web design and content, a day to write articles, a person to organize talks and teleclasses, etc.
Your written materials are the pivotal pieces of your marketing plan, as they communicate the value of your services.
8. Game Plan
This is what, when, and how you implement your plan. These are all the moving parts of your plan, strung together into a workable whole.
I.e., Develop written marketing materials, find opportunities to speak to your ideal audience, obtain speaking engagements, put together slide presentation, give talks to your audience, offer article to those who are interested, make follow-up calls to the most likely prospects, conduct selling conversations.
Each of these steps need to be designed and executed to the best of your ability. Repeat and fine tune.
9. Time Line
This is simply taking the above action items in your game plan above and putting them onto a project sheet and fitting them into your schedule.
I.e., Develop written materials - by Jan 15, Research speaking opportunities - month of January, etc.
Now that you have all your marketing to do's listed on your project sheets, it's simply a matter of knocking off all these items one at time. Then it all comes down doing a few items every day until your plan is in motion and producing results.
Now, that's a marketing plan!
As you can see, although it contains several steps, it's pretty simple and straightforward. If you create plans like this you will accomplish more in your marketing this year than you ever thought possible.
The More Clients Bottom Line: In order to produce significant marketing results, you need to go beyond goals and marketing activities and create a comprehensive step-by-step plan.
What marketing action plans will you be implementing this coming year? Please share on the More Clients Blog. Just click on the Comments link below: