Archive for marketing planning process
What is a ‘customer driven marketing strategy’ you ask?
It is a marketing strategy that keeps your customers squarely in the middle of everything you do… from the beginning stages right through the end… and it’s the only kind of strategy you will want to use for your business.
Here’s a bit about what goes into a customer driven marketing strategy:
Focused On Your Target Market
This means you know as much as you possibly can about who they are, what they want, what they need, what their preferences are and more. You understand all of the demographics and psychographics of your target market (you can read more about those here) that is possible, and you take every opportunity to learn more. Then, you make sure all of your marketing is planned and oriented toward them and what they want… sometimes that means forgetting completely about you and what you want if your market is different than you or varies from you and your wants, needs, and preferences.
Satisfying BIG Wants and Meeting BIG Needs
This means that all of your marketing is focused on helping your current and potential clients understand how what you have or what you do satisfies their most important wants and needs. Oftentimes people are more motivated to take care of their wants than their needs (Example? Most of us would rather buy a new dress, new shoes, or an awesome new smart phone than tires for our car…). Customer driven marketing strategy is all about educating your prospects and clients on how what you’ve got meets what THEY want and what THEY need.
Finding Out What THEY Think
With customer driven marketing strategy you are always interested in your people… so you ask them for feedback ALL THE TIME. You conduct surveys, you talk with them and ask questions, you find out how they are using your product or service, how it’s working for them and how you can make it better. This sounds challenging, but it’s really pretty easy – it’s about having conversations and focusing on collecting information all about THEM. People love to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions, so you focus on giving them room to do it and you let that information guide your future product and service development and ALL of your marketing.
The Big Bang For Your Effort
Many things can come from customer driven marketing strategy… just a couple include building tremendous customer loyalty and raving fans. When people feel truly taken care of and understood they share their joy and delight with others, and they keep coming back for more.
How can you look at your marketing efforts and begin to shift them to customer driven marketing strategy?
So, what goes into your marketing plan?
Today I want to talk about the marketing funnel that goes into your marketing plan.
Your marketing funnel is generally a visual representation of the steps and stages a potential client (and then client) can travel through your business. It’s often pictured as a funnel (as in this picture below), or turned around the other way, making a pyramid shape.
At the top of the funnel is where you would have any free offers you are putting out to the world. You want to remember, as you put out those offers, they need to be very enticing and they need to connect deeply with one of the bigger wants and needs (if you can do both, all the better) of your target market. You also want to make sure that you are truly serving people – giving them some of your very best stuff. This is your chance to make a stellar impression, so don’t cheap out on this.
The next step in the funnel is something that is also easily accessible, so it may be a well-priced offer that gives a lot of great support and information as well. It lets people try you out in another way and begin to wade into the waters, without having to commit to something huge, or dive right in – which most people are just not ready or willing to do.
On occasion, someone will be ready, though, so you want to make sure that this funnel isn’t a requirement – it’s not set up like pre-requisite courses in college. You don’t HAVE to go through the 101 level to decide you want to dive into the deep end and go big. If you have someone who loves your work and they’re ready for the whole kit-and-caboodle, then let them go for it, and give them an awesome experience.
In the next level, you step things up a notch – both from the standpoint of the level of investment and the level of time and service involved. People that reach this stage have often invested before, they’ve tried you out and they’re ready to go into the waste deep water now. They’re making a commitment.
Then, as you continue to flow downward, you add premium offerings. As the funnel suggests, a smaller number of people will trickle down to that level, but it’s ok. The people that do are your best customers. These are the ones who are generally raving fans (there can be some at every level, but these folks are deeply invested in your products and services).
The idea behind this piece of your marketing plan is that once you get someone who is interested in you and what you offer, you want to make sure you continue to serve them in multiple ways. You want to find out as much as you can about what they want and what they need solved, and you want to create and offer products and services that give them what they want.
When you do, your business has depth, and you can build long-term relationships with your clients, giving them more of what they want, and in turn, building a business that grows and thrives.
Here’s a question I get all the time…
People ask, “What is a marketing plan and why is it important… is it like a business plan? Do I have to create one? What goes in it?”
I don’t even get to answer before there are about 5 more questions added on the end… it’s something people understand is important, but they don’t know enough about it to even decide if they want to learn more.
What Is A Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is basically a way to lay out (to plan) the marketing for your business, your products, and/or your services. It covers everything from information about your target market to specific step-by-step processes you will use to build certain marketing systems and strategies.
It is a document that helps to guide you while you build your marketing, it helps you stay on track to building a more successful business, and it helps you focus your attention on your marketing – which can be a pretty hard for many people.
A marketing plan, the way I help my clients build them, is for internal use within your business, and serves as a map to help you and your team get to the destination you’ve chosen for your business.
Why Is A Marketing Plan Important
Frankly, marketing is one of the single most important places you can focus your attention in your business. Particularly if you hope to create a successful business. Marketing equals money,when it is done right, and most businesses don’t put nearly enough attention on their marketing planning process, or on their marketing.
That means that creating a solid marketing plan that can help guide you throughout the year, and help you stay focused on building the systems you determined, would support your business growth the way you want it to go. It is one of the best ways to assure your success.
Marketing is challenging for most people, until they learn more about it and have some successful experiences… then they often become ‘converts’ and start singing the praises of marketing. Until then (which can take a little while) having a plan or a guide can make all the difference between focusing on the things that will create income and bring in customers, and the things that are perhaps easier to do, but that won’t have the same level of impact.
So, what is a marketing plan and why is it important? The bottom line is it is a guide to building a successful business, and it’s important because without one, you can get hopelessly lost and never reach your destination which in this case, is a level of success with your business that makes you happy.
And, speaking of marketing plans… we’re going to be talking about them and several other key tips to having marketing that really works to bring in the clients and increase your bottom line on my next webinar. If you’re interested, you can register for it here.
I’ve been using a process for planning in the mornings for about 4-5 months now (which in and of itself is freaking UNBELIEVABLE), and I think one of the reasons I’ve been sticking with it is because it’s fun.
It’s a combination of tools pulled together from different places, and then augmented with sticky-notes (really awesome and fun ones), stickers, pictures from magazines, mementos from events, excursions and trips, and a wonderful book/journal as the basis.
Here are a few images of some of my planning pages and my ‘fun’ pages:
Here are some of the things coming into play:
The Daily Action Plan
Daily Do’s – What you’ll want are to figure out what the specific things are you want to do each day. For example, you may want to identify the 3 things that will move things forward for you in the quickest and most effective way. And, most likely, they are things that you might avoid if you don’t prioritize them. Think of the idea of ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy – get the tough things out of the way first, and you’ll find the rest of the day goes great.
Ships – Next, you’ll want to figure out 3 things that will get you and your product, service and business out into the world. There is a concept in Shelly Campbell’s book The Wealthy Spirit called ‘sending out ships’. If you aren’t sending out ships, there won’t be any to come back to port bearing treasures. So, be sure to put some focus on 3 things you can do today that will help you put the word out and will create opportunity for something to come back in your direction.
What I’ve Added
Daily ‘Poms’ – which you’ll see in the last picture. This is me tracking the number of segments I follow from the Pomodoro Technique (this is a simple and BRILLIANT time management process that has helped me be WAAAAYYY more productive in the last few months. Definitely suggest you check it out (the ebook that explains it is free – how about that!).
Daily Celebrations – this is something I’ve added recently. I noticed that I wasn’t really acknowledging my ‘wins’ on a daily basis. I was getting glum and bummed when things didn’t turn out EXACTLY as I wanted, and I wasn’t celebrating and appreciating what I had accomplished.
This is my place to write down the little wins I have during the day – like when I really didn’t want to write some copy and got myself into a good feeling place and then actually enjoyed doing it. That’s a BIG win, actually, and something I would have previously glossed over.
The Sticky-Notes (!!!)
This is a huge part of what makes this fun for me. I have a (ahem)… shall we say ‘sizeable’ collection of interesting, fun and playful post-its, some of which you see in the pictures. Where in the world, you ask, did I find such WONDERFUL things? Here are my sources (and please, don’t keep these a secret – I want them to make more and more and more varieties so I can have more and more and more FUN WITH THEM!):
I’m linking to Cavallini’s store on Amazon because a) I LOVE Amazon and b) You can buy from there, and you can’t buy directly off their website (unless you can and want to buy wholesale).
This company has wonderful stuff! A few different ‘brands’ underneath them and some really playful post-its and things. I love the variety and the fun designs. One thing though… the post-it glue isn’t the best, so they don’t stick too well. I glue most of my post-its down in my book anyway (the loose ends at least), so it doesn’t bother me. And, I happen to have a handy-dandy glue stick because…
The book is brilliant. All by itself it’s a fabulous piece of art. Each page is fun, whimsical, and new. It’s hard to put something on some of them (and, in a few cases, I haven’t). I use colored markers to fill things in sometimes (yes, I have a coloring book… ;- )), I doodle on the pages, I paste magazine pics, I create themes of images and colors, I add stickers – I make it FUN.
“What is this amazing and wonderful book,” you ask?
Well, I will not wait a second longer to tell you…
They have a wonderful video on their site here (you have to click ‘watch the video’).
All the books, rather ingeniously, come with a pen that is also a glue-stick that is attached to the book, so it’s always handy.
Smash books are FABULOUS! You can get them in a variety of places now including Target and Michaels – as well as online through places like Amazon.
I also like some of the accessories Smash Book has – my favorite is the Blank Smash Pad.
It’s awesome! (And, because I have that fab glue stick, I can use the pages right there in my book, just like the stickies. YAY!)
Ok, now that you know what an incredible geek I am, tell me how you are going to start making your planning process fun… so that you’ll actually do it. The FUN is up to you…
I’ll go cross off ‘blog post’ from my short list of today’s activities. :- )
And, as I work on my next marketing planning process, I’ll be making it more like arts & crafts – just for the FUN of it! There is absolutely no reason why the marketing planning process can’t include most (or ALL!) of these great tools.
P.S. Yes. I write small. Very very small.