Marketing For Success
Posted by Bryan Kelley
Marketing for Success
With a month behind us, how is your 2016 marketing plan doing? Or better yet, do you have a plan? I think we all know having a successful plan requires two things, planning and execution. If you are in business, these two items should be second nature. If you don’t have a plan yet, it is never too late. It also doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it can be as simple as a plan written on the backside of a napkin. The plan doesn’t have to look pretty. It just has to be executable and measurable. There are five simple elements I call the five M’s of marketing; Math, Market, Media, Message and Measurement.
The first place to start is with the math behind the marketing. Begin with a monetary budget so that you have a realistic place to draw from. For this you will need to know what you can afford to spend per customer generated. This can be broken down into monthly, weekly, or even daily amounts. Set your goals and identify how many new customers you wish to attract or how many existing customers you hope to retain. It takes money to make money, but with social media you can put together a mighty marketing plan on a shoe string budget. This will require more time and hands on work but the results can be phenomenal. Just remember to keep it simple and measurable. This is where your overall marketing model will be identified and developed.
Determine your local market and the buying habits that exist within it. Identify your ideal customers and their habits. You need to understand what drives your customers to make your marketing more effective. Why did they choose to do business with you? What are your customers post-purchase habits and what does it takes to maintain a relationship with them? The more you know about your ideal customers the more likely you will be to attract them. The second part of your market is your competitors. Be sure to list all of your competitors within your market and identify your differences or similarities.
Now it’s time to determine the media you wish to use. Will it be television advertising, word of mouth, Google ad-words, Facebook, direct mail, radio, etc.? Your budget, defined earlier, will determine whether you hit large scale items or if you do a more grassroots campaign. You will also need to identify the message you wish to broadcast. This will rely heavily on the information gathered about your ideal customers. Make sure that you understand your brand promise and your brand story so that you can effectively use your chosen media. For example, if your goal is to create word of mouth you will want to “WOW” every customer before they leave. Your media and message will have to be internal to your business. In this case you will need a consistent system to deliver your message before the customer has completed their transaction.
Once all of the plan is created, you will need a way to measure it. You have your goals identified and now you need a system to track your fulfillment of those goals. Keep the system simple and manageable. Make sure it can be done daily or weekly so that you have immediate feedback. This will allow you to stay nimble and change if necessary. If you are using word-of-mouth advertising, make sure you have a way to ask who referred your new customers. If you are using billboard or online resources make sure you have tracking numbers attached to them. Be sure to use google analytics on your webpage. This will allow you to see where the hits originate and how many you get in real time. If you don’t track and measure you’ll just be pouring dollars and time into the great abyss.
Creating a marketing plan doesn’t have to be difficult or even time consuming, it just has to be measurable and executable. I prefer to keep it simple and scripted in order to create consistency. Everyone has their own flavor and they should use it as their own little flair. That’s what makes marketing exciting and ever changing. Keep an open mind and be ready for change. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, and what works today may be a dying fad.