Last year I wrote a number of blogs about the best marketing tools you can use for your business. I covered a range of different marketing activities that work really well for us here at Appletree and that work for our clients too. However, there is one thing that you still need, no matter which marketing tools you use. Without it, much of the marketing you do won’t actually work.
What is this missing element? Whatever marketing you do for your business – whether that’s networking, social media or, public speaking – nothing will work properly for you, unless you have a Marketing Plan. Too many people launch into doing all sorts of marketing, because they think (or hope) that it might work. But they don’t stop to think first about what they want to achieve, who their ideal clients are or what sort of marketing might work best to attract those ideal clients. Let me explain with a story.
How does Planning work for Appletree?
Running workshops and seminars is a great to promote what we do here, by sharing our marketing knowledge and expertise. During the summer of 2015 I started planning some events for later in the year and the start of the 2016.
I always use a spreadsheet, like the one shown from Chapter 8 of my book, Magnetic Marketing, to plan our marketing. I contacted some people who could help me put on the events and we agreed a number of dates and topics. Then I started to fill in the spreadsheet. First I list on the left hand side a number of marketing activities I want to use – this newsletter, my blog, networking events and social media, for a start. Weekly dates are put into the top row and the dates of the events are written in. Next, I work backwards from the events, looking at how each marketing tool can be used, how and when.
For example, for a workshop I’m delivering in December, I wrote some promotional material to send to the organizer, so that he could talk about it at the networking event the month before, in mid-November. I filmed a short promotional video for the event organizer to send out, in the weeks leading up to the event (their first promotional email was sent out by the end of November.) The event is featured in this December issue of Scribbles (see below for the details – clever, isn’t it, this planned marketing?!) In the first week of December we started talking about the event on Twitter and LinkedIn, in updates that were written and scheduled a couple of weeks before.
And while all that was going on, I ordered a new batch of Magnetic Marketing, fully updated, which I could take to the event.
If I just started telling people about the workshop two days before it, there wouldn’t be many people there. Two days is not long enough to promote this sort of event – you need plenty time and you need to integrate a number of different marketing activities.
Create a plan for your marketing for 2016 and for different events or campaigns, to get the best results from your marketing and not miss any great opportunities.
Planning in Practice
The 3rd edition of my first book, Magnetic Marketing, is now available! It’s been updated and added to and will teach you the nine stage Marketing Planning process that I’ve used successfully with hundreds of small business. Order your copy here.
If you’d rather work through a Marketing Planning process with a group of other people, I’m running workshop where we’ll be doing that, on 22 January 2016. This 90 minute workshop is being run by the Swindon CIPD group (Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.) If you’d like to attend, get in touch and I’ll send you the booking details.