Foolproof Your Marketing Plan

A marketing strategy is only as good as the accountability behind it. Creating it is good, because it forces you to plan, but it’s only the beginning of the journey. Once you have a plan, you need to know how to measure it. Knowing how to measure the results will be the backone of the success.

Marketing Plans Need Accountability

One of the main reasons marketing plans fail is because of lack of accountability. If you have tracking put into place, you are more likely to see when sales start to slip and you’re also able to identify where the slippage occurred. But there are several other reasons marketing plans fail. Marketing is connected to several components of a business. If marketing increases sales, then plans for additional team members or expansion need to be made. If sales decrease, then shifting budget to lower cost channels might need to be made. Decreasing marketing budget when sales slip isn’t always the answer, in fact, it might be the opposite.

Other reasons marketing plans fail:

  • Messaging to target audiences is not clear to the intended audience. You really need to focus on your top customers (Why do the top 20% buy from you? You made your product or service just for them, so it should be desired by them. If it’s not, find out why,)
  • You don’t understand your customers and are not willing to do research.
  • You keep changing your business model and have to spend all your time and money on updating marketing materials instead of getting the brand in front of eyeballs. You really need to be consistent. Correct any inefficiencies and stay the course.
  • Lack of research to test the product or service in the market prior to investing a ton of money in marketing.
  • Marketing plans are not set in stone. They need to be monitored and pivots need to be made along the way. Marketing teams know there will be surprises along the way. You have to be willing to adapt to them.
  • Marketing is a team sport. No one person is ever the result of success or failure of a marketing plan.
  • If you cannot deliver when demand increases, your marketing will lead you down the fastrack to failure.
  • The marketing and sales teams don’t communicate.
  • Companies aren’t sure what they want the marketing to do. Lack of clear goals.
  • The target audience is off.
  • It’s too difficult to buy your product or service. The online user experience is bad or your customer service in general is not good.

When you are building your strategic marketing plan, don’t copy from a template. Each marketing plan should be different, customized to fit your goals (not someone else’s). Your channels and budget will be different. Your messaging will be different.

Here are some questions to ask when you are starting to build out your marketing plan. Some big factors in the approach begin with some simple questions.

  • Is your target market small (local) or large (national)?
  • What are your growth goals?
  • What is the sales cycle? (How long and how many touchpoints?)
  • Do you sell online doing ecommerce or via brick and mortar?
  • Will you be selling in other countries?
  • Is your brand new to the market or well-known?
  • Is it a niche product or service or more broad?
  • How different is your product or service? Can you differentiate?

A strategy for a small business with a small geographic area might start out with local SEO and social media, while a well-known brand launching a new product might leverage connected TV, national press release, customer surveys / reviews, and email marketing.

Newer brands typically cost more to acquire a customer. (Doesn’t seem fair but it’s true. It’s why most businesses fail in the first few years. It’s not easy.) They have no brand equity in the market yet (no trust), so it takes more. There is a compound effect down the line once you start getting consistent sales. You’ll start to see some efficiencies that can be made.

For additional support, Contact OpGo.