The first quarter of the year is almost over – have you met your desired marketing goals? While most people think that marketing planning is something you do at the end of the year, it should be something your company does regularly. At the very least, you should sit down and look at your marketing plan every few months and ask the following questions – what have you accomplished, are you on schedule and on budget, and are there any changes you need to consider?
If you don’t have a marketing plan in place, then consider implementing these three marketing planning tactics.
1) Create Actionable and Measurable Goals
Goals are important for any type of task – whether it’s a personal goal (reading x amount of books in a year or running a marathon) or a business goal (increase sales by 15% in the first quarter). It’s important to create goals that are actionable AND measurable. For example, you can’t set a goal to bring in 10,000 new customers by the end of the year if there are only 5,000 companies or business owners in your target industry.
Goals should also be measurable – that is, you need some type of metric to help you determine success. You also need to have the tools in place to measure these goals. Remember to consider these two factors in your next planning session.
2) Find Your Buyer Persona(s)
In the digital age it’s not enough to simply target certain demographics. Rather, you also need to know your customers –both what they want and need and how they behave. That’s where buyer personas come in. Buyer personas are more detailed profiles of the ideal customers you want to target. You create a biography for your persona – who is she/he, how old are they, how do they behave and how do these things motivate how they make a buying decision. You might even want to give this persona a name, to help solidify the idea that you are selling to actual people –not just a set of demographics.
3) Align Sales Process to the Buyer’s Journey
Another important marketing planning technique you should implement is finding out where your customers are in their buyer journey and align this with your sales cycle. As the name implies, the buyer’s journey is focused on their journey through the different stages of making a purchase decision.
While the names of the stages may differ, most marketers agree that the buyer’s journey takes them through these stages: discovery of the problem, researching solutions, looking through options, and making a decision.
By learning about your buyer’s journey and where they are in it, you can take the proper action – do you need to send them some informational material or send a sales person over to close the deal? If you do the wrong thing – like send a sales person when they aren’t even sure of what their problem is, you might turn off a potential buyer and also waste valuable resources - in this case, a sales pitch you could have sent to another lead that was ready to make a decision.
Marketing Planning Tactics That Work
Most companies set aside time once per year to create marketing plans. However because of the dynamic world we live in, marketing plans should be somewhat flexible. That doesn't mean you should change things at the drop of a hat – it’s important to “stick with the plan”, but still have some wiggle room to make any necessary changes.
Do you need an expert to help with your marketing planning? Or perhaps you’d like someone to take over and get the work done? Well, The Mezzanine Group can help! We specialize in marketing planning, execution, and consulting. We can assist you or your marketing team to help your company achieve your goals – contact us now!