Marketing Plans: How to Bring Yours to Life

marketing plansHow often do you refer back to your marketing plan?  Every week?  Once a month? Never?

If you’ve invested the time and energy into your marketing plans … great!  You’ve taken the first step.  Now to make your plan successful, turn it into a living, breathing part of your revenue generation process.

To bring your plans to life, it’s important to link your campaigns and sales activities to the goals you’ve defined in your marketing plan.  How are you going to generate leads, customers and revenue? How do you focus on the right options for your business?

When you invest in careful campaign planning, you’ll make better marketing investments and give yourself the best chance at hitting your goals.

6 Key Steps in the Marketing Plans Process

1.  Quantify your goals. Set specific, measurable targets – for example,

    • Increase revenue by 25%
    • Double the number of customers you serve
    • Increase profitability 10% from your existing customer base?


2.  Define your overarching strategies.
What are the general things you’ll need to do to hit the goals you’ve set?  For example:

    • Generate 1,000 qualified leads for a particular product or service
    • Generate 100 new customers from a specific industry vertical
    • Improve sales effectiveness to increase your qualified lead-to-customer conversion rate from 12% to 15%
    • Increase average revenue per order by 15%
    • Sign up 50 new channel partners


3.  Define your sales process.
What are the steps your prospects go through as they decide to buy from you?  When you define your sales process, you can determine exactly how many prospects you’ll need at each step – and you can design your campaigns to produce those prospects.

Here’s a simple way to define a sales process.  In an Excel spreadsheet, list

    • The step in buying process.  The first step is typically identifying a problem that needs a solution and the last step is becoming a customer.
    • What needs to happen for the prospect to move to the next step
    • Length of time a prospect typically spends at this step
    • % of prospects who move from this step to the next

At the bottom, sum the column with the %s in it.  That’s the percent of leads that end up buying.

4.  Design campaigns to meet each of your specific goals. Your sales process figures will help you evaluate how many leads you need to generate.

For example, if you want 100 new customers in an industry vertical and you typically close 10% of the leads you generate, then you know you need to generate 1,000 leads from that vertical.  With that information, you can design better campaigns.

5. Know your numbers. Marketing campaigns are investments that should produce a financial return.  Your goal is to design campaigns that produce your desired results at the lowest possible cost.  Be creative and choose media that delivers the highest ROI.

6. Execute, measure and improve. Monitor your campaign results closely.  Are you hitting your projections?  If not, what do you need to do to improve?  It’s easy to get caught up and forget this step, but if you’re not keeping a close eye on your numbers, you won’t know whether you’re on track.

After all, that’s why you developed a marketing plan in the first place!  Right?

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