Marketing Planning Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult

February

17

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Planning is a critical component of successful marketing. Yet so many businesses don't spend time doing it, right? Or they just don't even do it at all. I believe this happens because people, they see it as too much work or they're just not even sure where to get started. That's why I'm shooting in this episode today, I'm going to help demystify the marketing planning process. Share some of the best tips that I have with you so that you can see that marketing planning doesn't have to be difficult, right? It can be simple. That doesn't mean that it's not work, but it can be simple.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Marketing Planning Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult

Planning is a critical component of successful marketing. Yet so many businesses don't spend time doing it, right? Or they just don't even do it at all. I believe this happens because people, they see it as too much work or they're just not even sure where to get started. That's why I'm shooting in this episode today, I'm going to help demystify the marketing planning process. Share some of the best tips that I have with you so that you can see that marketing planning doesn't have to be difficult, right? It can be simple. That doesn't mean that it's not work, but it can be simple.

Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks if you want to accelerate revenue growth. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in.

Marketing planning near and dear to my heart. My skill sets, what we focus on as a company at Rialto Marketing all have to do with marketing strategy, planning, and then leadership. And so this is near and dear to my heart. I love planning, and hopefully after this episode, you will start to love and appreciate it as well. But marketing planning does not have to be difficult. Planning allows us to have a clear, unquestioned objective, which is really powerful because what it brings you is clarity. And clarity allows us to produce results. It also helps to reduce stress. It helps eliminate distraction because we know what our objectives are, we know where our priorities lie. So that, especially with marketing is we're bombarded with all this information overload, we have the power to say, you know what, that's not something that's important for me right now. I need to focus on this, right? Planning allows you to focus on the 20% that are going to yield the 80% of the results and just eliminate the 80% of stuff that we all half the time, most of us focus on that's not driving results. That's why planning is so, so critical. So I've got about ten tips here for you today to help make marketing planning simple and help you understand that it doesn't have to be difficult.

Start with a Marketing Strategy First Approach

First and foremost, you must start with strategy first. Too many people jump into the tactics and it's very easy to make this mistake because there's so much information out there. With marketing, we feel like, oh, I've just got to jump in and start immediately taking action, right? So we focus on the tactics, the media, the marketing media we're going to use, the marketing channels we're going to use without actually putting strategy in place. And the way I think about strategy is it's fuel. When you jump right into the tactics, the media, those are the vehicles that you want to use. But when you don't put strategy first, your vehicles lack the fuel they need to be successful. So even though you feel like you're taking action immediately, what you're really ending up doing is wasting time and money because three months, six months, twelve months down the road, you're going to realize, oh my God, this isn't working. Why is it not working? Because you don't have the fuel to make the vehicles go where you want them to go. That's why strategy first is so important.

Focus on your Website

Second, focus on your website. Your website second. Website is, in my opinion, a critical component to all of your marketing because everything you're doing, whatever marketing vehicles you choose to use, they are driving people back to your website. And if your website has poor messaging, it doesn't have a clear journey or a clear path that you want to lead people down. If you don't have strong calls to action, all the marketing work that you're doing on the front to drive leads that are going back to your website, they're not going to convert as well. They may not convert at all. They may not convert as well as they should, right? A poor website is impacting all of the marketing activities that you take. That's why I think it is such a critical element to focus on in your planning initially.

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Low Hanging Fruit

Third, low hanging fruit. Where is the low hanging fruit? We all want quick results and the reality is a lot of marketing takes time. But there are ways that you can get quick results as you work on strategy and put your plan into place. So there's a couple of places that are super easy to start with low hanging fruit. One, what's already working for you. There is something that is already working for you. Your business that's already generating leads. Odds are you have not completely optimized that. Look at what's already working. Fill in the gaps that you have in that process. Frankly, you may not even have a process. So put a process in place and are there things that you're doing within that process that you could do more of to get better results? So look at what's already working. So many of us look at what can I do new to generate more leads. But I don't think you have any business looking at new marketing channels until you fully optimize what's already working. Second bit of low hanging fruit. A lot of us used to do something that worked and we stopped doing it for whatever reason. Go back to that. So jump back to what was working that you stopped doing. So what's working, fully optimize it, and what was working for you that you stopped doing? Those are two pieces of very low hanging fruit for you to start to get quick results with your marketing. A lot of people ask, what should I focus on on my plan? Those two low hanging fruit elements, your website and strategy, are the first places to start with your initial marketing plan.

You are Never Done Learning With Your Marketing

Fourth thing to really keep in mind is you are never done learning with your marketing. A lot of the marketing you do is not going to work. So it's critically important to test. You're never done learning. Remember these three simple steps - test, measure, and learn. Right? We're going to test, we measure what's happening and when we measure, we learn what the results are and then we can adjust and make course corrections along the way.

Do Not Chase Marketing Trends

Five, do not chase trends. Trends change, the fundamentals of marketing do not right. The strategy behind marketing, the fundamentals of marketing lay the foundation for everything that you do to be successful. Do not chase trends. So many of us do not need. There are a lot of marketing channels today. It's very easy to get overwhelmed and feel like I've got to be in all these places. You do not. Most of us only need two, three really strong marketing channels to work and to drastically transform our business. So you don't need to be everywhere. It's okay to test certain trends, but don't get so lost in chasing the trends that you neglect what's already working, the things that you really should be focusing on. So it's okay to test certain trends to see if they're going to work for you, but if you're constantly chasing trends, you're going to be like a squirrel trying to find a nut and it's not going to work.

Define What you Want, Why you're Doing it, and What you Want Out of it

Number six, define why you're doing specific things within your marketing plan and what you want out of it. If we don't understand what we want out of it, in a lot of cases, it's not going to work well for us, because we need to understand if I'm going to create a podcast, if I have the goal and what I want out of it is to build relationships, or if I want to use that to build an audience, those are two totally different things. And so the way I approach that podcast is going to be totally different based on those two different objectives. That's why it's so important to understand what your objectives are, because based on what your objectives are, that's going to dictate what you choose to do and how you do it within any given marketing channel or tactic. So make sure as you put your plan together that you've defined what you want, why you're doing something, and what you want out of it. Critically important.

The Three Critical Components of Marketing Planning

Number seven, there are three critical components of marketing planning. There are more than this, but these are three high level things that I think you should think about when you're putting your plan together. What are those three things? Lead generation, lead conversion, and retention and referrals. So many marketing plans that I see focus strictly on the lead generation side of it. I've got to generate more leads, more leads, more leads. But the reality is generating more leads may not actually be the issue. You might be generating plenty of leads and have a lead conversion issue, or you might be generating plenty of leads, but you're losing too many of those customers. So you're not retaining customers or you're not generating enough referrals from the existing customer base that you have. So don't neglect lead conversion and retention and referrals in your plans. Lead gen is a pretty obvious one that most people are focused on. But the mistake I see people making is they neglect. They focus solely on lead gen and neglect lead conversion and retention referrals. I think those three things should be elements within any strong marketing plan.

Most Marketing you do Will Fail

Number eight, and I touched on this earlier when I was touching on, I think 2 point or three, which is most marketing you do will fail. That's the reality of it. Look, even marketers, we're certainly not perfect. We are always testing. We are always testing because we know that most marketing you do is going to fail. The reality is, what we want to do is constantly test to figure out what's going to work and what's not as quickly as possible so that we can make course corrections and just start going heavier into what's working. So it's okay that your marketing efforts are failing because the reality is that's the way it is for all of us. A lot of people don't talk about that, but that is the reality of it. That's why testing, measuring and learning is so, so important.

The Only Reason Why Marketing Fails

Number nine, two more for you here. Marketing only fails for three reasons. So if your marketing is failing, we've got to look at why it might be failing. And there are three reasons, three key reasons why. One, there's a prospect mismatch, right? You're targeting the wrong people. Two is process, right? The process you're using to target those people, there's something off or misaligned. And then number three is the proposition. What are you proposing to them? What are you saying? What's your message? What are you offering them? If any one of those three things is out of alignment, what you're doing is not going to work well. So when you are doing things and they're not working, come back to that prospect process and proposition to see where some of those things may be out of alignment and update that in your plan.

The 90-day Marketing Plan

Number ten, last but certainly not least is plan in 90 day sprints. And frankly, I think you can use this for any planning that you do within your business or within your personal life. Long term plans can become a very complex and complexity is the enemy of results, in my opinion. The other thing with marketing is things are changing so fast. The market is evolving, your business is evolving. Planning for anything more than 90 days I think is an absolute waste of time. Year long marketing plans, when you get to the end of that year, what you're actually doing at that point is never the exact same as what you put in that initial year long plan. So why the hell should you why take the time to do that? 90 day sprints are long enough to start to see whether you're gaining traction, but they're short enough where you can make course corrections, wash, rinse, and repeat every 90 days. It also keeps your plan simple, which makes it a hell of a lot easier to actually implement and execute on your plan. Okay, so 90 day sprints.

If you want the breakdown of the 90 day plan that we use for our business, our clients go to Growthmarketingplan.com. At growthmarketingplan.com, I'll give you access to the template. I'll walk you through it in a video. There's some sample stuff there. There's all kinds of tools there to help you get started putting together your 1st 90 day marketing plan. So head on over there. Growthmarketingplan.com.

In Conclusion: Marketing Planning Doesn't Have To Be Difficult

I want to thank you guys so much for taking the time to watch, listen, if you're reading this on our blog, totally cool. Love it. Thank you for taking the time. Head on over to GrowthMarketingPlan.com so you can start implement your 90 day marketing plan and start seeing results ASAP.

If you've got questions on this, you're not sure where to start, you can always go to our website at rialtomarketing.com, R-I-A-L-T-O Marketing.com, and book a free GPS call with with me. I will be happy to jump on a call with you and help give you some outside eyes, some guidance on the direction that you should head based on where you currently are and where you want to go with your business.

Thanks so much for tuning in. Till next time. Take care.


About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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