Keeping Your Business Marketing Plan Simple

With so many marketing options available, you can really struggle with what you should be doing, when are the best times to do it, where your marketing placements should be, why one marketing activity over another, why one niche market over another, and how to get the most out of it all.

Of course, there are some variables (such as goals, industry, and capacity) that will affect your decision, but let me share with you the foundation to simplifying some of this.

1. Identify and separate your vertical markets

Unless every one of your customers fits the same profile, you should really focus first on creating profiles for your clients based on industry and type of client. For instance, I work with consultants, businesses with 100 or fewer employees, and marketing departments with offices around the world. A consultant with no employees fits a different profile than a private school with less than 100 employees or a marketing department that needs me to set up a recruitment event for a marketing professional.

2. [In your campaign] Focus on your expertise, not the client profile

This one totally contradicts identifying and separating your vertical markets. However, there is a place and time for you to market with general campaigns that focus strongly on your expertise and deliverables. While it’s nice when you can develop campaigns that focus on the pain and pleasure points of a particular industry, if you haven’t chosen to work with one industry or another, you will need to market generally.

3. Decide if you are running a marketing project or a marketing program

A marketing project is a temporary endeavor, has a definite beginning and a definite end, and is finished when all project objectives are met. A marketing project creates a unique product, service, or result. For instance, developing your website is considered a project (even though web marketing and maintenance will go on). Whereas on-going marketing for such website could be part of an ongoing marketing program to drive targeted traffic and prospective clients to your website.

4. Break down your marketing objectives as much as you can

Many times I see business owners clump every marketing goal into one bunch, or bank all of their marketing dollars on this one “campaign” to bring in the millions. Instead, you should focus on multiple ways of marketing, multiple ways of communicating, multiple ways of connecting to reach one or a few of your objectives. Make sense?

5. Get ahead of yourself with your campaigns

Don’t wait until the last minute before you start-you should plan your marketing activities well in advance. A season in advance is a good place to start (however, if right now you have to go with a month ahead-start where you are). Make planning your friend-it will give you a chance to adjust and collect the proper data to see whether or not this will be part of your on-going marketing programs.