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Things to remember on creating your first marketing plan

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13-Apr-2019 05:12 PM

 
By Forbes Agency Council
Category: General
Things to remember on creating your first marketing plan

Developing a marketing campaign is a crucial step for businesses for connecting their product or service with their potential clients or customers, or building up a brand. But problems can develop when building your plan, especially if you are considering a new approach, or are still getting your feet wet in how everything works. Things that make sense on paper can end up tractionless when put into use or, worse, cause damage to your company's reputation or customer engagement. In order to avoid mistakes, decison makers need to know where things are likely to go wrong within a marketing plan and then figure out how best to navigate around the possibility.

For leaders new to this aspect of business, identifying weak points in a marketing plan may not be so easy. To help you navigate the process, we asked experts from Forbes Agency Council to provide their best advice and top tips when putting a project together. Here's what they advise you consider:

1. Be Specific

Most often, I have found that brands provide goals that are far too generic. For example, the goal of a 5:1 return on investment might look OK on the surface, but when you dig deeper, you can see that goal is too generic in that it doesn't account for factors like volume, customer type (existing vs. new customers), incrementality and so forth. More specific goals lead to better overall results. - Vic Drabicky, January Digital

2. Be Brief

A consistent challenge across all verticals when developing a marketing plan or campaign is the desire to say too much. Shakespeare said it best: "Brevity is the soul of wit." The key is to distill the message down to its essence and maintain that consistent ribbon of thought throughout the entire plan or campaign. - Julie Gibson, SJ Consulting

3. Keep Your Eyes On The Goal

A marketing plan fails because it focuses on tactics rather than goals. Or it fails because it sets no success metrics or check-in sequence. Setting KPIs is common, but keep a 1:1 ratio. Make sure each KPI is a single numeric value assigned to a single goal. Eyes on the goal. Likewise, only one person must be ultimately responsible for each goal, with both the execution and scheduled team reporting. - John Farkas, Golden Spiral

4. Poke Holes In Your Plan

Are you drinking too much Kool-Aid? One of the best predictors of entrepreneurial success can also be the biggest risk factor. Find someone who understands business and marketing but is not a fan of your form of Kool-Aid. Ask them to poke holes in your plan and then prepare to address them head-on before you take another sip of whatever you're selling. - Ilya Welfeld, Seymour Public Relations

5. Manage Expectations

When we are establishing a marketing plan for personal brands and businesses in a social space, it is extremely important to manage client expectations. Within any social platform, it is absolutely necessary to educate your client on realistic social platform growth and conversion, not vanity metrics. - Michael Smith, iTribe Social

6. Set Specific Goals

Expectation setting is a huge struggle when it comes to clients and it probably always will be. As humans, we always want the greatest result for the least investment. In order to overcome this, we have to try to set very specific numerical goals that both the agency and the client can be happy with. - JC Hite, Hite Digital

7. Build Brand And Voice

Working with colleges and universities, the key to driving success in a marketing plan is rooted in the institution’s strategic plan. At most institutions, enrollment is critical. For the plan to be effective, marketers must develop a dual strategy and tactics that both build the brand while creating a unique voice that attracts and enrolls students that are a "best fit" for the institution. - Edward Sirianno, Creative Communication Associates

8. Execute Consistently

There remains a misconception of a “silver bullet” or “overnight success” in marketing. Now we call it wanting to “go viral.” Marketing really is about execution, day after day after day. And yes, you will get tired of your messages and bored with your creative — but that is likely the exact moment it is finally getting noticed by potential buyers! So, create your plan and then work that plan! - Patricia Rioux, ODEA Group

 

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