10 steps for more powerful and engaging marketing plans

Return to MightyWriteIf you’re having trouble gaining momentum with your marketing, it may be because you’re not getting traction with your existing marketing plan or…you don’t have a plan at all. I’ve worked with clients in both situations. Of course I believe in the power of a marketing plan but have also come to realize that all plans are not created equal. You need the Write Plan because it is…

  1. Actionable, simple, direct and clear
  2. A few pages max
  3. Aligned with your business needs and strategic goals
  4. Pro-active in establishing your overall marketing objectives, goals and strategies for the next year
  5. Reactive to what your audiences have told you and will tell you as the months unfold
  6. Responsive and able to reach your audiences wherever they are
  7. Iterative to maximize new opportunities
  8. Committed to helping you become emphatically helpful and connected to your customers problems and needs
  9. Supported by all levels of your organization
  10. Specific and measurable

The Write Plan we develop is long enough to do all this – but short enough to keep everyone interested and engaged in making it happen. Following are some of the parts that can add up to a more integrated and successful marketing program, but first you might be wondering…

What the heck is “emphatically helpful”? At MightyWrite, this means caring about our customers’ concerns and problems and working relentlessly to help them find solutions. It recognizes that our authority comes from our audiences – people like you – and what you teach us through the exchange of services, ideas, recognition and lasting relationships. This doesn’t mean we’ll always be the most popular kid on the block, but it means we will provide value by shining a light on what we know and how much we care about helping our clients achieve their goals.

Now, let’s talk about the Write Plan for you. It has…

Objectives – This is the big picture statement of what you want to achieve with your marketing in the next year. Yep just talking about the next year because I can guarantee that we will need to look at the objectives again in the next 12 months or sooner. It’s important to consider however, how objectives can be achieved and sustained for your ultimate success, year after year after year…

Goals – While objectives look are the overall purpose of your marketing, goals are the smaller microchips that build and drive the strategies and measures we’ll use to achieve success.

Audiences – You’ve heard it before I’m sure. Knowing your audience and caring about how your product or service can make their lives better is key. I like to take that one step further and ask how can your products or services fit into your audiences’ lives to become part of their story? That’s where real customer and brand loyalty begins.

Strategies – Oh strategy how I love thee. The possibilities for reaching your customers, colleagues, supporters and friends are truly endless. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. For some clients it’s One. Step. At. A. Time. For others, it’s Launch New Product Redesign Website Build a Social Media Platform all at the same time. Whew. I’ve done this long enough to know that the strategic approach has to be a good fit for the clients’ objectives and goals as well as for your marketing culture and the culture of your audiences. The great news is that with the bulk of marketing going digital and social, it can be tweaked along the way. The bad news is that it’s just as easy for a subscriber or follower to shut the door on you at any time. Opening doors and keeping them open is key to achieving ROI.

Tactics – aka deliverables is where us creatives get to play. This is the website that converts, the video that transforms and bottom line, the marketing that brings your customers and audiences home. Whatever tactics you use, remember point #8 above: Be emphatically, consistently helpful and connected to your customers’ concerns. Your marketing and messaging needs to be about them. How are you solving their problems?

Measurements – How will you know if you’ve been successful and have achieved ROI? We always rate prospects over popularity as a key driver of ROI. So while more people at the party is great, will they convert into buyers or supporters? Be as specific as possible and agree up front to take action if the measures don’t…measure up.

For some, even a yearlong plan feels too onerous. Then scale it back to the next six months or narrow your focus even more to a particular campaign. If you need to look farther ahead, think about your reasons for doing so and ensure the plan has room for change and new opportunities. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a window of time you can commit to and ensure there’s follow-up to look at the results.

One of the strategies should be about how you’ll approach content. I’ll write about that in the next eNews.

Yes I can help you. Yes I would love to. It’s what I do every day. Send me a line and we’ll talk.

We all need to find what energizes us along the marketing path. For me, it often comes from what I can teach…but also what I learn from others. This article sums up these principles and includes an “Authority inspired to do list” that you might find useful too. Enjoy!

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