What is a marketing plan? What does a successful marketing plan look like? How will I know if I’ve got it right? All great questions that I hear often from entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Well, first of all, a marketing plan is NOT all about advertising. In fact, a good marketing plan looks a whole like a business plan except it goes further by identifying customers and how to communicate with them.
The 10 P’s
A successful marketing plan is one that delivers results – whatever that is defined as. A successful marketing plan considers the 10 P’s:
- Purpose. What is the purpose of the organization (beyond making a profit)? In this day-and-age where we have four very different generations in the workplace, the business’ why has never been more important. The marketing plan needs to address this right up front.
- Position. What is it that the business does that competitors don’t do? What sets you apart from all the others out there in this very small and flat world we are playing in?
- Persona. There are close to 7 billion people on the planet. Not all of those people are your target customer. Get really clear on who your target customer is. Really, really clear. Your marketing plan should identify a customer right down to what they do every minute of every day. Marketers that do that know how to communicate with their customers in a way they will pay attention.
- Product. This also means service. When you know what you are excellent at and who the people are out there that need what you have, you are positioned to build products and services that they want.
- Place. Where will you play? When you know who your target customers are and what they are looking for, you are in a position to plan for world domination or… selling in your local neighborhood.
- Promotion. Also known as communication. Used to be known as advertising. When you know who your target is and what they want, you can very strategically – almost surgically – design promotional programs that they will pay attention to. Everything else is a waste of time, energy and MONEY!
- Pricing. A successful marketing plan identifies what you will charge for your products and/or services that will deliver maximum margin because… you know more about your target customer than anyone else and… you know what price points they will not hesitate on.
- People. Successful marketing plans take into consideration all the talent inside and outside the organization that touches the customer during the customer’s journey (or experience with your business). I have seen great offerings fail miserably because marketers did not consider the people that would deliver the offering.
- Processes. What needs to be developed in order to deliver your offering consistently all the time every time?
- Proof. What measurables are in your plan to ensure that the plan is actually working? Great marketers (marketeers as I call them), are able to slice and dice data to give even the most annually retention executive team a clear picture of the value they are getting in return for the marketing spend.
There is more to a classical marketing plan, however; in my experience, these are the 10 that get the success you are looking for.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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