Archive | April 2016

Part Seven: Measuring Effectiveness

Today’s topic concludes our blog series – how to build a successful strategic marketing plan.

We’ve covered the following steps in building out a strategic marketing plan:

Building a Successful Strategic Marketing Plan

Effective Marketing Strategy Part One: Research

Part Two: Data Analysis

Part Three: Identifying Your Business Goals

Part Four: Defining Your Target Audience

Part Five: Identifying Effective Marketing Tactics

Part Six: Implementing the Marketing Plan

So you’ve put all this work into researching, developing the plan, assigning roles and responsibilities and have started implementing the plan.

How will you know if your marketing plan is effective? By measuring your specific tactics.

Many times we hear, “I tried doing that and it didn’t work.” Our first question is “How do you know?” Without setting specific goals to measure your tactics, it becomes very subjective as to what did or did not work.

Review your tactics and decide how you are going to track its “effectiveness” to reach your business goals. Know your baseline (current state) and put a value on each tactic. How valuable are new leads – $50, $100? What is the cost of a product or service? Knowing this value will help you determine your ROI for each metric, which will answer the question “is it effective?”

Examples of metrics to use include:

  1. 30% monthly open rate of newsletter
  2. 10 new leads from email blast
  3. 10% new visitors to website
  4. 8 monthly purchases of product or service
  5. 12 new registrants for event

Let’s look at a quick example for metric #2 listed above – sending out an email blast.

Say the cost of sending out the email is $500. If you value a new lead at $100, you’ll need at least five new leads to cover your cost. Ten new leads and you’ve got a good ROI.

The true effectiveness is the value you put on it. Some may consider covering the cost effective enough, while others may view the engagement with the content effective. These are values you will need to determine based on your business goals.

There may be some situations in which a tactic cannot necessarily be tracked, for instance a brand awareness billboard. In these cases, we recommend training your employees to get in the habit of asking people where they heard about your company, your products/services. It could be as simple as asking them to check a box from a list of choices.

Lastly, and more importantly, we need to remind you that there’s no one-time silver bullet for engaging response or gaining leads. Many times tactics need a specific length of time to run to become effective or need to be tweaked. You just need to start somewhere to start gaining those insights and seeing those patterns to make adjustments to continually improve.

So this concludes our blog series – how to build an effective strategic marketing plan! We hope you found these posts helpful and insightful. When it comes time to plan your marketing, make sure to refer to these posts or contact us to help!







Part Six: Implementing the Marketing Plan

Whomever pulls the sword from the stone will lead this project comic

There’s nothing worse than taking the time to research, develop and create a full marketing plan and then not following through on implementing it.

In this series, we’ve reviewed the following steps to building a successful marketing plan:

Building a Successful Strategic Marketing Plan

Part One: Research

Part Two: Data Analysis

Part Three: Identifying Your Business Goals

Part Four: Defining Your Target Audience

Part Five: Identifying Effective Marketing Tactics

Even if you do all of the above, a marketing plan is only effective if you actually follow it . . . and measure it (which we’ll get to in our next post).

Assigning roles and responsibilities to each of the tactics you included in your plan is essential.

This could be one person, a marketing department, a marketing firm or a combination of all.

For some clients, we will help to the point of creating the strategic marketing plan and then turn it over to them to implement and track. For others, they want us to help with some implementation, or even all implementation.

It really boils down to time and resources to assure it happens.

After you have finalized each of the tactics within your marketing plan, add a column or note next to each to add in the name of the person responsible for completing and monitoring that specific tactic. In addition to the name of the responsible party, add the due date of this task so they understand when it needs to be completed by. This adds accountability and eliminates any “assumptions” that someone else is handling it.

This is a simple step, but a crucial one that is often overlooked.

Make sure to follow us for the last part in this series – measuring success!

Part Five: Identifying Effective Marketing Tactics

multi channel marketing tactics

We’re over halfway complete with our series: how to build a successful marketing plan!

So far, we’ve covered the following steps:

Part One: Research

Part Two: Data Analysis

Part Three: Identifying Your Business Goals

Part Four: Defining Your Target Audience

Now that we know our target audience, or audiences, we need to identify how best to reach them.

Some tactics may have been discovered during your research and data analysis, such as a specific publication, trade show or newspaper, but many times this will need further research by your marketing team.

As with all marketing plans, it’s important to be as comprehensive as possible in your marketing mix. You want to find tactics to reach your target audience, or as we like to call them “clones”.

The easiest way to get started is to first identify your basic marketing categories. This usually includes the following:

  • Print
  • Digital
  • Radio
  • Public Relations
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Outdoor
  • Events (Trade shows, community events, etc.)

Before you start including specific tactics, consider the following:

  • Do you need consumer-facing tactics?
  • Do you need Business to Business (B2B) tactics?
  • Do you need both?
  • Do you need internal tactics to current employees, customers, leads or past customers?
  • Do you need all?

Many tactics may be used twice, for instant an email campaign. You could have a consumer-facing email blast for a product as well as a B2B email blast about a new service. These would be two individual tactics within your marketing plan.

Now it’s time to get to work and start adding your individual tactics. As you do so, be sure to include whether it’s a tactic for brand awareness, lead nurturing or lead generation

For example, a billboard might be for “brand awareness” while an email blast would typically be “lead generation” based on your call to action.

Why do you need to know this? It helps set the expectation of each tactic and will help you measure ROI based on its purpose in supporting your overall business goals you identified.

To learn more you’ll have to follow our blog as we’ll discuss this topic in an upcoming series post!