Marketing Plan Template - Steps 9, 10, 11 (nearly there...)
Step 9 9.1 Organisational Implications
Another consideration that you should document in your plan is the overall organisational implications.
For example: let's work with the ‘moving into France' goal and gaining 20 new French clients. Not only does this have people implications - but it could also mean making an alliance in France and buying an office in France. This is an extreme example - but it leads you to think about all the elements of planning.
If your goals are to increase your customer base by 30% and therefore your people by 20% - can you house them in your current offices? Would you need to move offices? Could you outsource some elements?
It's important these decisions are documented in your plan, as these too need to be considered.
10.1 Contingency / Options
I mentioned earlier that all plans need to be ‘flexible' and ‘amendable' - as very often you are working with assumptions. The more planning of this type you do, the better you will become at it. And therefore, over time, your assumptions will be hitting the mark. However, particularly when starting off, you are learning the needs of the market and planning accordingly. Therefore, some of that which you ‘assume' is going to fall short of expectation.
That's why it's important to document some form of contingency - or have some alternative ‘options' available to you.
It may be that you plan to do 12 business networking breakfast meetings in one year. And this activity will generate 10% of the 25% new customer acquisition you have targeted. So if you don't achieve the set number of projected new customers to come along to these clubs - then you could be down on your overall target.
Therefore, your contingency plan could be that if after the first quarter you are X% down then you will promote FREE networking sessions with a major influencer, let's say a Bank, to get yourself in front of other potential new customers and assist with you meeting your overall target.
Of course, these contingencies need to be documented and considered, as there are often implications for resource, both physical and financial.
Monitor and Evaluate
There's an important fact, ‘what you can measure you can manage', so it's crucial to track and monitor what's happening with your marketing campaigns/activities.
Whether you are using sophisticated marketing activity tracking software, or tracking responses in excel or some other simple way - the important thing is to keep an eye on results so that you can measure your marketing effectiveness.
Being aware of what results you are achieving enables you to learn from your marketing activity. Too many times when business owners have gone to significant effort to put a marketing campaign together, when I query the response rates - there's a stunned silence.
Would you repeat a campaign if it returned nothing? Hopefully not, you'd tweak it, test different headlines, messages or offers. It's always a good idea to run split campaigns - to test which offer or message gains the better response.
Whichever way or method - you need to understand your marketing effectiveness and return on investment:
Marketing Effectiveness Example:
Let's consider a campaign to observe the power of measurement:
Email to 500 hairdressers in postcode areas SL1, SL4 and SL6.
Exhibit at local Hair & Beauty show - 25% saving. Book your stand before 30th April.
Hair & Beauty Show - 5,000 potential new customers - save £500 on your stand. Time limited offer - act now.
- 3 Emails sent promoting both offers x 3 sent to 500 verified email addresses
- Email 1 (sent 3 weeks prior to deadline)
- Offer 1 : Generated 5 bookings = 1% conversion
- Offer 2 : Generated 15 bookings = 7% conversion
- Email 2 (sent 2 weeks prior to deadline)
- Offer 1: Generated 2 bookings = % conversion
- Offer 2: Generated 8 bookings = % conversion
- Email 3 (sent 2 days prior to deadline - last chance offer)
- Offer 1: Generated 4 bookings = % conversion
- Offer 2: Generated 14 bookings = % conversion
From the above example, you can see how one can begin to grow marketing intelligence:
1. We know the overall success of the campaign was X% conversion.
2. We further know that Offer 2 performed better than Offer 1 - generating X more bookings.
3. From this we can assume that the audience preferred the monetary offer (£500 saving - rather than a 25% one).
4. We observed that the ‘last chance offer' generated the most response - and therefore, given the success of this tactic, we'd be likely to repeat this in future campaigns.
I hope this simple example demonstrates that had we not measured the results - we wouldn't have anything firm to work with.
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