Tear up your old marketing plan and start over.
It’s very tempting to hunt down your 2018 marketing plan, adapt it and implement, right? Your 2018 marketing plan made a difference to the organisation and your customers were satisfied, so why upset the applecart?
To stay relevant in the modern marketplace it is necessary to re-energise your brand every year however don’t forget what you have learnt from previous years and your marketing plans.
Doing the same thing as the year before is also boring and predictable. What real progress would you make by doing the same thing or making slight changes?
Not only are you preventing your brand from achieving its maximum potential, but you could also miss out on penetrating an untapped market.
So, what is the next step to identifying what to add to your 2019 marketing plan?
Identify who your customer is by doing research. Ask them what they want, how they would like to receive information from you and what they like and dislike about your brand.
The worst is spending half of your marketing budget on an activity you thought your customer would like, just to find out that they don’t and it’s a complete turn off.
Everyone thinks research takes long, well I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. There are very quick and easy ways to gain insights into the customer without spending your entire marketing budget and waiting three months for the research findings to arrive. Send out surveys via email, social media, create regular focus groups and engage with your customer during your on the ground activations.
After analysing the research findings, you might ask yourself the following questions: Do we really need a Twitter account? Are we seeing a return on boosting social media posts? And should we focus on above the line vs below the line activities? This will allow you to exclude the clutter and include the activities your customer is telling you they want.
While you implement research, you can’t ignore that time is ticking on and you are still sitting with a blank marketing plan. My advice would be to include these three key things. They are a win-win with or without research:
On the ground activations
- Go back to the basics but make it big!
- Plan various activations around key hotspots where your current consumer is and identify the areas where you can unlock new consumers.
- Share product or service information in an interactive and creative way.
- Don’t expect the consumer to stop and ask questions, give them a reason to stop. What’s different about your brand and how does it benefit the customer?
- Keep it simple but yet impactful. Allow them to leave with answers and incentivise them to return to your organisation.
- Budget for influencers. Select key influencers that are a brand fit for your organisation. Don’t just pay any influencers because they have 100 000 followers, instead select the influencers that will become a brand ambassador for your organisation.
- Why influencers? They will unlock a new market for your organisation – their loyal followers will become your loyal followers.
- Allow your current and potentially new customers to experience your brand through social media.
- Ensure your brand executes the true brand personality through images, videos, infographics, posts on social media – be consistent in your messaging.
- Target your unlocked audience and boost posts to attract them to engage with your brand and potentially convert them to a loyal customer.
- Social media is a great research tool. Ask your audience what you can do more of – listen and then do it!
There is so much to include in a marketing plan. We’ve all heard this one before ‘we need to get onto this new platform because everyone is on it’ if you don’t then you are deemed irrelevant and old because your competitor is doing it and you’re not.
Don’t be bothered by the noise around you. Don’t let what everyone else is doing dictate to you what you should and shouldn’t include in your 2019 marketing plan.
Listen to your customer and give them what they want.
Tanya Davis took up the position as brand and communications manager at East Coast Radio a year ago. Before that, she served as the digital lead for the radio station with a strong focus on the breakfast show. She holds a Diploma in Public Relations from Varsity College and a Bachelor of Technology Honours Degree in Public Relations Management from Durban University of Technology.