In yesterday’s blog post, I gave you some overall ideas about how your marketing plan can become a useful document and a critical asset in your business. Today, I want to give you a step-by-step method to create a marketing plan from scratch without breaking a sweat.
DAY ONE: DRAW OUT YOUR SALES FUNNEL
If you’re not sure what your sales funnel looks like, check out some of my blogs on the subject. It’s one of my favorite topics.
DAY TWO: LIST SALES FUNNEL GOALS
At each stage of your sales funnel (audience, leads, prospects, customers), you should have goals. Goals for the audience stage might be that you want to be seen in search engine results for specific terms. Goals for the leads stage might be that you need their name and email address and you need to decide if they are worth pursuing as customers. Goals for the prospects stage might be that you connect with them 3-5 times and that you get them to buy from you. Goals for the customer stage might be that you connect with them once a month and offer them another opportunity to buy from you.
DAY THREE: LIST TACTICS
Once you know what your goals are, figure out how you will achieve each goal. For example: In the leads stage, if your goals are to collect their name and email address and then to qualify them, what are the things you need to do in order to accomplish that? A name and email address might be acquired by a free email newsletter sign-up. The qualification process might take place later in a survey or for a special whitepaper. Another example: In the audience stage, if your goal is to be seen in search engines for specific terms, you might need to identify those keywords and create a number of blog posts, articles, and press releases on those keywords.
DAY FOUR: LIST AND BREAKDOWN
On day three you identified all of the things you need to do to achieve your sales funnel goals. Today, compile them into a list and make sure they are broken down into smaller, manageable activities. For example, creating an email newsletter requires a few smaller steps. If your notes include writing a whole bunch of blogs, list a whole bunch of blog topics to write about.
DAY FIVE: SCHEDULE
It’s so easy to make a big list but it’s also so easy to forget about that list and move on to something else. Actually getting the stuff on your list accomplished is key! Once you’ve broken it down into manageable activities, schedule each activity.
DAY SIX AND BEYOND: REFINE
Now you need to do 2 things:
- Follow through on your schedule, relentlessly and consistently.
- Go back and tweak your sales funnel and make the appropriate changes in the marketing that follows.
NOTE TO MARKETING PLAN PURISTS
Various people, including marketing plan writers and the professor who taught me Marketing Management in my MBA, will not like what I’ve just listed. I’ll admit that I have diverged from a very well-established methodology of creating marketing plans. While I believe that the “traditional” way marketing plans have been done is useful to some, I’ve seen too many cases where marketing plans have been put on the shelf for a simpler way. I’m not suggesting that the traditional marketing plan structure is obsolete, only that business owners need to find a fast, simple way to market their business.