5 Steps to a Better Marketing Plan
By: Amy Hansen
Recently we spoke with a few potential mortgage and fintech clients and when we asked them if they were currently working off of a planned marketing and communications strategy, their collective response was, “not really.” They had a sense of when they wanted to do a few activities, mostly centered around trade shows, but they had nothing written down.
After those meetings, I wondered if these companies hadn’t produced formal documents because they felt plans could be too restrictive or that they had to be elaborate documents with a ton of detail.
A good plan just needs to be a framework for the year. It doesn’t need to be too detailed. In my experience, it’s crucial for plans to be flexible because, as we all know, priorities change. So, your plan needs to be able to accommodate potential shifts in your goals and objectives as the year progresses.
Here are a few key components that a plan should include:
- Competitive research: You have to know what your competition is up to. How are they promoting themselves, what words do they use to describe their services, where are they marketing and what is their presence like online, in social media and at trade shows? Create a chart that includes the highlights. While you are investigating these things also keep track of what you do differently or better.
- Key messaging: How does your company stand out? What are your strengths? Why should someone work with you versus your competitors? Talk with your sales people. Let them tell you how prospects and customers perceive your company and what they really like about it. Then, write all of that down in a document no more than one page. This way you can refer to it throughout the year to ensure your marketing materials include those key messages.
- Target audience: Who are you selling to? Who are the influencers? You can’t win business if you are not talking with the right people. And, you cannot talk to the right people if you haven’t taken the time to identify them.
- Goals: What are you hoping to accomplish? It’s important to include your goals in your plan. Consider what you are trying to accomplish and how you will measure success. Be as specific as possible. For example, maybe it’s increase LinkedIn followers by 10% in three months. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to track your results.
- Develop a tactic schedule: List out the various activities – such as press releases, emails, social media posts, blogs, trade shows, etc. Then, grab a calendar and develop an actual schedule. A schedule is crucial to your success. It will help you stay on track.
If this seems overwhelming or you just want someone else’s opinion about what to do and how to do it, send me an email. I’d be happy to help.