Ever wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea that you're sure will change the course of the company? Or maybe your latest stroke of genius hits you while you're doing dishes or at some other quiet moment. No matter where you're at and how brilliant we think we are when we dream up a new marketing plan, there are a few things to take a look at before you spend time and money trying to make it work. If your plan passes through each of these tests that means you're likely to be ready to get to work!
Will this new marketing plan fit with the company's goals?
The very first thing we always need to do is take a step back and think "How well does this marketing plan fit in with what we want to achieve as an organization overall?" Even if you think your new plan sounds like a crazy idea, that's OK, as long as the expected end result matches the company's goals.
For example, a dermatologist can add on many different types of services to grow revenue. There are things like skin cancer treatment services, skin care product sales, cosmetic enhancers, laser treatment and on and on. But what does the practice want to focus on? If the aim is to head down the path of more cosmetic services, then a marketing plan for a skin cancer treatment service line may not be the way to go to stay consistent with company goals. It wouldn't be worth the time working on a marketing plan for skin cancer treatment in this particular situation since they're not aiming in that direction as a whole.
How to Set Company Goals
Not sure what your company's goals are? It's never to late to ask. And if you're in the position of creating those goals, now is as good time. You'll want to create realistic company goals so that you can then set up a marketing strategy that aligns with what you're trying to achieve. We recommend you use the SMART system:
S - Specific - What is the specific thing you want to achieve with this idea?
M - Measurable -Be able to show how your plan produced results. More on this as you read on.
A - Attainable - As in: be reasonable but still aim high.
R - Realistic - Is your idea within the realm of what your organization can handle?
T - Time Bound - Have a date by when you'd like to reach your goal.
Which persona does this marketing plan target?
Once you've cleared the hurdle of ensuring your marketing plan will support the company's goals, you need to be sure that you further develop the idea with a specific persona in mind. Always ask:
- How will a typical target audience member react to this?
- How does it demonstrate that we can solve a problem that the persona has identified?
Persona development allows you to really understand who to reach, how to reach them and what will be most appealing to make them take action. If you haven't done this yet, we encourage you to work on your personas with our free guide.
Take the dermatology medical practice as an example again. If they'd like to focus on increasing their cosmetic service revenue by 50% by the end of this year, then they are more likely to aim all of their marketing at the persona that is typically interested in these services -- most likely women ages 40+. But more than that they will need to know more about the educational background, income levels, daily habits and other important details about their target so that the idea can be tailored to fit this group.
If your marketing plan will be accepted by the target audience, then it's time to head onto the next step!
How will you show results of your marketing plan?
It's important to know if your plan worked. Did it drive the leads or sales that you expected? How do you know it was a result of your work and not something else at play? The ROI of marketing is a critical piece of information for knowing how to go forward.
Proving ROI of marketing used to be a lot harder than it is today. While there are some things you can prove better than others, technology makes it easier for us to track things such as:
- Who visited the website as the result of a paid online ad and did they become a lead?
- Who visited the website through blog content and then what did they do?
- Phone call tracking so you can see which calls came in as a result of the website.
- Understanding which websites are sending visitors to you and whether an investment in advertising on some of those websites is worthwhile.
You'll be able to tell what's working and what isn't so that you can make adjustments to get better results sooner.
You'll also need to make a connection between which leads became customers or patients as a result of your marketing plan. This is sometimes a manual process, but it's important to know how you're going to do that before you start a marketing program so that you can assess the results.
For our dermatology practice they'll need a way to determine if the visitor became a patient. If they don't fill out a form, did they use the trackable phone number? This data will give you solid information on how to move forward with the marketing plan in the future.
If you're ready to start your new marketing plan idea we are here to help you if you need assistance. You may also want to download this eBook to help you with proving the ROI of marketing.