Imagine having a clear plan for all your marketing activity, one that is informed by years of experience and a deep understanding of your audience.
Marketers have known for years it’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it. And the key to a successful rollout of marketing activity is clear-minded, researched and informed marketing planning. Planning for marketing ensures you not only understand your audiences, but also when best to communicate to them.
The benefits of marketing planning
The benefits of marketing planning are many, and of course, extend beyond segmentation:
- For your marketing function it provides a step by step calendar to deploy, providing the sense of ownership and participation.
- For clarity of activity, it sets out a calendar of content, so your key messages can reach your different audiences consistently and in a way that is manageable.
- For transparency of marketing spend, it delivers clarity around the best use across channels so investment is made prudently for maximum return.]
- For your business, it demonstrates the marketing function not only understand the offer but can drive and generate further demand in a methodical and pragmatic way.
- For your Board, it delivers assurance that the firm and its offer are being promoted in the best and most effective way within a competitive and crowded marketplace.
Principals of great planning
Three key principals can assist when initiating a marketing planning process:
- Deliver genuine value: Your clients are time poor and busy, so deliver content that is worthy of their attention by constantly asking – what pain point am I helping to solve with this blog / video / white paper? \
- Keep it realistic: Whilst all singing all dancing advertising and celebrity endorsements are great in theory, when you are a small business they aren’t exactly practical. Make sure that your marketing plan takes into account the realistic budget of the business.
- Deliver consistency: Just when you are tired of saying it, your audience is just starting to hear it. Consistency built into all of your plans is essential so your message cuts through.
Activating your marketing internally
Planning for external marketing activity will certainly engage your external audiences, but what about internal audiences? All your people are brand ambassadors, and if they also believe in the messages your marketing seeks to deliver, they become living and breathing brand marketers for your firm.
Engaging internal audiences is critical for internal buy in, internal understanding, internal advocacy, which in turn externalises and further strengthens your marketing. Word-of mouth, social media, referrals: all of these are tools of marketing and proactively planning to activate your internal audiences to deliver these is a powerful tool.
Whether your year end is June 30, or based on the calendar year for 2018, marketing planning is essential for your firm to come out strong in the first half of 2018.
Imagine being recognised in your market place, with your customers being clear on exactly what you offer, and the benefit you deliver. Marketing planning is essential to deliver that aspiration.
If you’re unsure where to start on your 2018 marketing planning BrandMatters has a number of resources on our website here https://brandmatters.com.au/resources. And if you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch directly here https://brandmatters.com.au/contact