If you've come to understand that an effective marketing strategy must have a plan, you're ahead of your competition. But to truly succeed at marketing you really need three plans!
[A previous version of this post was published in June 2016. Some things never go out-of-date!]
The only guaranteed method for being successful at achieving your marketing objectives primarily rests on having a solid marketing strategy. Nothing substantial can be accomplished without a strategy. You've heard the old saying about throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.
That's probably okay if you have an abundance of spaghetti, but most business owners prefer not to throw money needlessly.
In addition to having a good strategy, you must have a consistent commitment to follow through with that strategy. This is all fairly straight forward and basic.
So far, so good, right?
But... (there's always a "but") ...the problem is that, for many marketers, there is the tendency to start the process backwards.
In other words, most marketers simply start with their proposed budget and use that figure to dictate what they can or can't do with available marketing tactics. This is not only short-sighted, but it comes from having the wrong perspective.
The 3-Part Marketing Plan Strategy for Achieving Marketing Success
A more effective approach to is to start with your actual marketing objectives.
This is analogous to planning a journey. If you wanted to take a trip from San Francisco you wouldn't simply look at your bank account and say, "Well, if we fly, we can only get as far as Kansas City, but that might be close enough, you think?"
Not if you really wanted to get to New York.
No, what you would do first is determine where you want to go (like New York.) Then you would plan out on how you can best get there efficiently and cost-effectively (bus? train? rental car?) And then you would create and plan out your budget to make it happen.
Note that without a clear objective, it would be a huge waste of resources and money to simply head off with no clear destination in mind.
A successful journey requires a plan for determining your destination, a plan for how you can best get there, and a plan for creating a budget to support the trip.
Three Parts of an Effective Marketing Strategy
The best approach is to create a strategy built on three legs, or three perspectives.
A successful strategy always takes into consideration the objectives being sought, the actions needed to achieve those objectives, and the resources needed to support those actions. Your marketing strategy should be no different.
Here, then, are the three key steps to achieving your marketing objectives:
1. Your Marketing Objectives Plan
2. Your Marketing Action Plan
Included in this action plan step should be a production calendar with periodic progress meetings and updates, etc. One approach that is often employed with this step is what is known as S.M.A.R.T. goals. The acronym originally stands for goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-related.
3. Your Marketing Budget Plan
Bring it Together in a Successful Marketing Strategy Plan
Ultimately, this can be seen as actually a three-stage, or three part, marketing plan.
Regardless of what actual marketing tools or tactics you employ, it makes sense to start with clear objectives first. Having an action plan in place for achieving these objectives is necessary in order to see your overall plan to completion. And, once these plans are established, you can create the budget plan.
Achieving your objectives with your marketing strategy takes time, however. All the planning in the world cannot manage or anticipate forces outside of your control. An old military maxim that fits here is, "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy."
And while you can't look upon your prospects as "the enemy" the truth holds that your best laid plans may need to be altered upon contact with the realities of your market. But a comprehensive, three-part plan provides you with the context and parameters needed to make strategic adjustments - not shots in the dark.
If you are engaged in content, or inbound, marketing it won't happen with a few blog posts or great ebook. People will need to consume your content for a while before they contact you. But without your content compelling them to contact you, your goals may never be met.
Content and inbound marketing work day in and day out. Once you post a blog article or upload a Slideshare piece, it is always there, working to educate and compel people to become leads. And when they do come to you, they are educated, informed, and much more likely to make the decision to buy.
An Expert Partner For Your Marketing Planning
Another approach for creating and implementing an effective marketing plan is to get outside help. Digital marketing agencies, such as BroadVision Marketing, can offer expertise and tools that the typical business owner or marketing manager may not have.
It often helps to have an professional marketer's perspective to assess your content marketing strategy. Acquiring the insights and assessment of a third-party professional can be an investment that will bring a quantifiable return. BroadVision Marketing offers all this and more.
Click the button below to get your free copy of 10 Powerful Inbound Marketing Charts to help you make an informed decision, or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.