leadership

Seven steps to a great marketing plan

SmartCompany /

You want 7 simple steps to a killer marketing plan? OK, here they are…

 

 

Naomi Simson

While this year is still steaming on, I could not help but think that we are nearly at the end of the decade. We will blink and the noughties will be over.

 

Sometimes it is a good idea to reflect on the past – to help you create the future. Steve Jobs once said “the best way to predict the future is to invent it”. And I personally have taken that to heart.

 

Years ago I created marketing plans for organisations. I tended to follow a formula. Looking at what actions, tactics and activities fell under certain headings, and that were time and budget related. 

 

I reckon they were OK marketing plans. First of all I listed all the activities we would undertake to achieve awareness, (how do we get people to know what it is we do) then I’d look at what would make a customer consider the service or product.

 

Is there a valid reason for them to need or to consider buying a car? For instance you might be aware of a BMW, but what would make you consider actually purchasing one… I can’t remember which one, but one of the car makers had the slogan of “please consider”.

 

Then we would look at what activities we would undertake to get people to prefer that product or service over another – that is, to be at the top of the shopping list. Why would someone prefer to buy from you than anyone else?

 

But the most important thing of any structured marketing program of course is the fourth element of “purchase”. This can simply be a transaction – a one off instance (where the rubber meets the road to bring out an old sale cliché).

 

But as far as I’m concerned that is not enough. A transaction does not a client make. That is merely “dancing” – a test, a trial to see if you are who you say you are. To have someone become more than just a “purchase” activity – the opportunity is to create a culture that does not “reward” performance for the transaction alone, but rewards based on relationships built.

 

But ultimately any great marketing plan also then articulates what is being done to engage and encourage advocacy. That is moving transactors to become customers, then clients, but ultimately to become an extension of the business – and to opening talk about your goods and services.

 

So my sub headings for a marketing plan are:

 

  1. Awareness.
  2. Consideration.
  3. Preference.
  4. Trial (transaction).
  5. Customer.
  6. Client.
  7. Advocate.

 

Much of the energy in harnessing is in fact after the first sale is made. It is up to us as marketers to give them something worth saying.

 

 

 

 

 

To read more Naomi Simson blogs, click here.

Naomi Simson is the founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 2007 – 2008 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book.

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