How To Declutter Your Marketing Plan | EBA

Without a plan, every idea looks like a good idea.

That’s why it’s so important to intentionally think through and plan your goals – and what it takes to achieve them. Otherwise, you risk falling into the trap of creating mindless marketing activity that chases the latest trend or simply copies your competition.

I hear comments all the time about how marketing is a waste of time and doesn’t work. But this is usually followed by an admission that there was no plan in the first place, and that the company engaged in a random set of ad hoc activities. And there, I agree: sporadic, unplanned activity is a waste of time.

Read more: How Sales Internships Can Create Long-Term Value Amid the Talent Wars

What exactly is marketing, and why should I care?

In simple terms, it is a set of activities communicating your business model to customers and prospects. If your audience is intrigued by your model, they will want to know more.

This may lead them to interact with your real estate online, such as the company’s website or social media platforms, ask questions about you, or contact your business directly. The goal of marketing is to intrigue them enough that they end up wanting to talk to you.

Enter the sales conversation.

To communicate effectively about your model, you must have clarity of your model. It may seem rudimentary, but many companies lack clarity and have not documented it. However, several steps can be taken to lay the foundation for a meaningful marketing plan.

Read more: How Advisors Can Help Clients Build a Hybrid Workplace That Works

One is to articulate who your ideal customer is and the daily challenges they face, so you know who to talk to and what to talk about. Understanding your value proposition will help explain the promise to buyers of how their business will improve if they choose to work with you. Another key element is to define and describe the sales process that you will use to help prospects decide if you have a good offer.

When you feel motivated by your story, planned communication becomes much easier because you know what you are going to say. Outline a plan of what you want to communicate by asking what you want people to hear from you, where they will engage, and how often they will hear from you.

Plans not should be fancy or too detailed, especially when you’re just starting out. The key to marketing planning is to start slow – if you do too much too soon, or if you do it too detailed, it will be like starting the new year with a plan to hit the gym five days a week. As of January 15, you have failed.

Read more: Open enrollment needs a makeover. Here’s how to boost engagement and use of benefits

Instead, take baby steps to go from starting to running like a well-oiled machine. And don’t fall into the trap of over-planning and over-tracking when you get started. This will cause fatigue and derail you. Here’s how a thoughtful marketing plan should unfold:

First year: focus on the basics
If you are new to planning marketing activities, make your plan very basic. Focus on simple questions that can move you to action. What are you doing right now? What is working that you should keep doing? what not work that should be eliminated? What is one thing you would like to commit to for the year?

Second year: take it to the next level
Once you’ve committed to consistent activity, use the next annual planning cycle to take a more focused approach. What impact areas (website, LinkedIn, events) should you focus on for the year? Who will lead each effort?

If you’re ready to dive deeper into planning, you can drill down into your plans and add activity details, timelines, KPIs, budgets, and more. While the list of what you can do is extensive, what you actually need to do should be much more straightforward.

Always check and balance with the question: what are we doing today and what shouldn’t we be doing? Eliminating waste should be as important as improving your efforts. In short, start slow and keep it simple. One or two activities done well and regularly are much better than five things done randomly and sporadically. Achieve your rudimentary goals and congratulate yourself and your team. Next year, add something else to it and do the same every year thereafter.

Comments are closed.