Business Planning Customers

What is a marketing plan? Really?

what-is-a-marketing-plan-sarah-louise-bidmead-marketing-strategy

Say I asked you right now to show me your marketing plan for the next 90 days…

Would you feel confident handing it over for me to review?

If you’ve suddenly broken out in a cold sweat – you are not alone.

Although a top concern of small business owners – especially coaches and creatives – is how to find and retain more customers…

A top failing of small business owners – again coaches and creatives – is the ability to work to a marketing plan.

So instead of being stuck on this merry-go-round of ad-hoc marketing, up and down results and not a lot of progress, it’s time to re-think how you see, feel and approach your marketing plan.

And we’re going to start that process today with a different take on what a marketing plan really is…

what-is-a-marketing-plan-sarah-louise-bidmead-marketing-strategyAt it’s core Marketing is Connection.

Marketing connects you and your business with your customers.

So, a marketing plan exists to…

Big Number One: Make it super easy for you to connect with your customers.

Your marketing plan exists to give you a step-by-step plan to take you and your business from where you are now to the end goal you want to achieve.

Number Two: Craft moments of connection with your customers.

Your marketing plan exists to ensure you and your team have a clear process of how and when to connect with your customers.

Number Three: Maximise your connection with your customers.

Your marketing plan exists to maximise your connection with your customers so you uncover more possibilities in your business, serve more customers and develop new ways to engage powerfully with your customers.

Number Four: Establish the process for making customer connection = revenue.

Your marketing plan exists to outline how your connection equates into earning the dollars you want to see in your bank account.

Now this might be different to what you’ve heard or learned in the past about what a marketing plan means to your business..

But gone are the days of pages and pages of highly irrelevant marketing jargon, pie charts and customer statistics that will confuse you.

And part of my mission is to break down all the marketing information that I’ve collected over my 13+ years in marketing and present it to you in an easy to understand and easy to implement structure so that you can master your marketing, learn to love it and grow your business to where you want it to be.

what-is-a-marketing-plan-sarah-louise-bidmead-marketing-strategy

The best marketing plans are smart and simple.

For small business owners and for professionals like you, who rely on a consistent stream of new and returning customers your marketing plan should not be long, involved and convoluted.

It’s essential that it is packed with strategies that make sense to your customers (and to you).

It will help if it involves all kinds of fun and personality (because marketing should be fun).

That’s it.

In short – the best marketing plans are smart and simple.

A smart & simple marketing plan will help you connect with your customers.

And secret confession: I kind of love creating them.

Why?

Because it’s a chance to be creative.

Now a lot of service based creatives and coaches will scoff at me when I say that!

But marketing plans can be incredibly creative because at the planning stage of your marketing, when you are looking for ways to connect with your customers…EVERYTHING is possible.

It’s your chance to THINK BIG and get excited.

Your plan can become the ultimate wish list of everything you’d like to see happen in your business….

  • All the media exposure you’d love to gain
  • Successful client case studies you’d like to create
  • The juicy content you’d love to bring to life
  • A base of perfect customers you want to connect and serve
  • The money you want to see in your bank account

Your marketing plan is your carte blanche to really get excited about what you can achieve!!

Now I won’t sugar coat it, a lot of factors need to be in place for your marketing plan to WORK the way you’ve designed it to…more about that in another article.

what-is-a-marketing-plan-sarah-louise-bidmead-marketing-strategy

The basics

The building blocks to a successful marketing plan remain the same as they have since we began taking our wares to the Agora…

To get started with a marketing plan you need:

Passion and Enthusiasm
Because you can’t ‘market’ something you don’t believe in.

A Product
This is pretty self-explanatory!

Market demand
You need to be selling something that your clients need and want or… you have the ability to create that demand.

Customers
Yay – people to buy!

A process of exchange
This for that. Beans for Cows. Products for money.

This outline has not changed in all the days we humans have been wanting and needing and buying and trading.
what-is-a-marketing-plan-sarah-louise-bidmead-marketing-strategy

So what is a marketing plan really?

Well it’s basically a plan for connection.

Our task today as savvy small business owners with the most knowledgeable and discerning customers the world has ever seen is to create that connection through a thoughtful, engaging, positive and ultimately rewarding process.

And although you may not have a marketing plan right now, I want you to marinade on this article and start to think about what you really want to achieve with your marketing; what BIG ideas do you want to see come to life and how do you feel you can create more powerful connections with your customers?

This thought process (which happens before you put pen to paper and create your marketing plan) is best done over the course of a few days or a week so you can give your ideas time to develop and grow.

Enjoy the process and remember: marketing is fun.

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