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You just wrote a marketing plan!” It’s easier than you think

An amazing moment happened this week with a client of mine.

We’ve been working for more than a month with 11 participants on the project team, from the company president to several managers.

In the beginning people were fidgety at the meetings. I heard rumors that some didn’t really want to be there.

“Marketing isn’t my job,” someone said.

“We’ve done this kind of thing before.”

“I’m never going to understand this stuff.”

Interestingly, all that changed midway through. When the project team members started to read their homework assignments aloud, something magical happened.

Their materials got attention. They were good. REALLY good.

After that, I saw fewer droopy faces in our meetings. Introverts frequently volunteered to read aloud from their homework. Sometimes people would GASP in awe at what others had written!

That’s not even the best part.

This week we worked on Marketing Action Plans. After everyone shared their plans – which were fantastic – I began to talk about implementing the marketing plan.

“Marketing plan?” asked the guy at the end of the table.

“Yes,” I answered. “Those things you’re holding in your hands. If you put them all together, what you have is a marketing plan for your business.”

There was a long moment of silence in the room, as realization was dawning. They HAD written marketing plans. It was obvious, of course, but it had been so … easy. Weren’t marketing plans hard?

No, they’re not. At least, they don’t have to be.

Writing a marketing plan can be as easy as answering some questions. Here are the ones I use:

  1. Service Offered – What is the specific service or product you are offering? For example, “chair massage in offices” or “eBook on dating.”
  2. Target Market – Who are your ideal prospects for this service?
  3. Value and Pricing – What is the service worth, and what will you charge?
  4. Marketing Strategy – Which marketing activities will you employ? Common strategies for my clients are: “Networking,” “Special Events” and “Direct Mail Campaigns.”
  5. Purpose – What is the main outcome you intend to produce? Be specific: “25 new clients” or “7 mentions in the media.”
  6. Intended Results – These are additional desired outcomes, such as “increased credibility” or “more referral partners.”
  7. Marketing Information – What materials are required by the Marketing Strategy to convey your message?
  8. Basic Game Plan – Exact how will this marketing action plan be executed? Be sure to list all the details, vividly imagining how you will carry out each step. That way, nothing gets left to surprise you later on. (Remember, if you’re putting up a banner at an event, it needs to get designed, printed and picked up before then.)
  9. Heart of Activity – What is the most important element of this plan? In other words, your plan would fail if this weren’t perfect. In a networking plan, for instance, you’ll need a fabulous elevator speech.
  10. Calls to Action – What will you ask the prospect to do next? I like to write this part out word-for-word.
  11. Resources – What is required for success – Ideas? Money? Time? People? This step is great: no surprises! Decide in advance what you will need. (How much will that banner cost? What about design cost? Include EVERY step.)
  12. Timeline – Finally, what are your action steps? I like to write the step – “Write series of four articles to send to prospects” – with start dates, end dates and responsible party. Then, I just transfer it straight to my calendar and daily To Do list.

Answer those questions and Voila: You just wrote a marketing plan.

These questions are taken from the last chapter of the Fast Track to More Clients workbook. The workbook, just like my upcoming teleseminar, ends with participants writing their own marketing plans. Naturally, there’s a lot of information contained in the first six chapters of the book.

There’s even MORE information in the examples, stories and advice I give in my classes. ;-)

If you’d like to learn more about developing marketing plans and get feedback and support while doing so, get on the Fast Track to More Clients with other motivated, socially responsible business owners.  Just email me to find out how to join us!