In any industry the value of planning is greatly recognised. It is considered as being the key to success, yet few actually put into practice the plans they create. Often the process of writing a 20 page marketing plan is “too time consuming”, it requires serious levels of focus and it can seem like a chore before it’s even started. Writing a marketing plan and sticking to it is one of the biggest challenges in marketing.
There is however a golden solution. You can create a one page marketing plan, the beauty of which is:
It’s concise and easily referenced
It provides visibility over budget and timelines
It saves work in the long run
Forward planning and adopting a Do & Review ethos will allow you to be more proactive, creative and budget conscious when carrying out your marketing campaigns.
So how do you write a One Page Marketing Plan?
Tip 1: Start with pre-planning
What do you want to achieve and what are your objectives?
Is it brand recognition? Do you want to infiltrate a new market? Perhaps promote a product? What is your reason for needing a marketing plan.
Tip 2: Plan your budgets and timescales for the year ahead
Did you know that 1/3 of your marketing budget should be used for acquiring new clients, whereas the other 2/3 is for communicating with existing clients. The reason for this is the majority of your business comes from repeat sales, so ensuring your current client base is happy and engaged should be your priority. It is also vital to ensure that your current customers know about everything that you offer.
With regards to the timescales, a plan will help you map deadlines, track progress, highlight events that you may want to avoid clashing with or even help identify periods in the year that your audience are most likely to be responsive.
Tip 3: Put it into a simple, one page plan
Clean and simple, you will be able to track your project process precisely and map out your marketing campaigns.
Tip 4: Who are you targeting?
The next step is identifying who your Target Audience is. Understanding your audience is a vital part of the marketing process, as you need to be able to communicate with them via the channels that they frequent; be it social media, networking events or through the post and email. Additionally you need to ensure you communicate in a way that lets them know you understand them.
Tip 5: Break down your target audience
If you have invested time in building a database of contacts or if you have purchased a list from a 3rd party, be sure to allocate a reasonable amount of time to segmenting and cleansing your database. No campaign will achieve success if the contacts you are engaging with are incorrect or out of date.
By segmenting, you can also better personalise the campaigns.
Tip 6: Get implementing…
Once your marketing plan has been finalised, you will be ready for the implementation phase. A useful tip would be to conduct a split test and trial the campaign amongst two separate audiences to find out which is the most effective. Alternatively you can try two varying campaigns with the same audience in an attempt to uncover which style of campaign works best.
Tip 7: Do and review
Marketing is all about Do and Review
Once the above steps are complete, it’s time to review. The benefit of which is answering the questions:
What elements of the plan worked?
Which channels proved the most useful?
Which target group of your audience were the most responsive?
Leading to the million dollar question can you replicate the campaign and achieve the same level of success or greater?
Tip 8: Keep an eye on the results – measure, measure, measure
Keeping a record of your results will help with the review process. You can do this by keeping a bible or a document that measures and monitors the success of the campaign you will want to repeat in 6 months.
Tip 9: Be Creative
All of this time spent planning and executing a campaign is wasted if your visuals and messaging do not grab attention.
Focus on creativity to plan out the words and imagery which will truly grab your audience’s attention.
Tip 10: Do and review (again)
The key to marketing is to Do and Review and so useful questions to ask yourself include:
What has happened before? What has worked and failed?
How does it fit with the wider business objectives?
How will your branding impact?
How do you interact with your clients?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Where do you rank next to your competitors in the market?
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