Where's Yours?
7 Critical Components of a Successful Marketing Plan in the Digital Age, Part 1
7 Critical Components of a Successful Marketing Plan in the Digital Age, Part 1

7 Critical Components of a Successful Marketing Plan in the Digital Age, Part 1

Cleveland, Ohio
July 21, 2017 02:29pm | Updated: December 16, 2017 02:33pm

very business, professional and nonprofit organization is unique and requires special considerations especially when it comes to marketing in the digital age. All businesses, professionals and nonprofits do share 7 critical components in common they can use as a foundation to grow their organizations. The first critical component is an Integrated Actionable Marketing Plan, and we will demonstrate how to make it measurable as well.

Integrated Actionable Marketing Plan
As Yogi Berra taught us, “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” A properly created marketing plan will provide the guidance you need to work “on” your business for you, instead of just “in” it for your customers.

Your plan must acknowledge the massive tectonic shift in your Next New Customers purchasing behavior in the digital age. The printing press provided everyone the opportunity to learn how to read and the internet provides everyone the opportunity to write, comment and even rant! The digital age gave your Next New Customers the power of the “Like” button, comments, reviews and more. They like the power, they need the power and are never going to give it back. Even more significant they “Trust” online comments and reviews so much they are making purchasing decisions based on them every day.

Your Next New Customer is spending more and more time online exercising their newfound power every day. They can be online anytime, anywhere and on any number of devices. What are they doing with all this time online anyway? Your Next New Customer is searching to solve a problem or improve the quality of their life or the life of someone they love. They are searching for you!

Your Next New Customer may begin a search on their phone during lunch, continue using their desktop in the afternoon and yet again at night on a tablet in bed.  Studies have demonstrated they can be more than half way to a purchase decision before they even reach out to contact you. That is . . . “if” they reach out to you?

This massive tectonic shift in your Next New Customers behavior is precisely why marketing in the digital age absolutely requires an “Always-On Digital Sales Funnel” to not only attract but also nurture your Next New Customers to the point of sale even when you are closed . . . well, especially when you are closed. An Always-On Digital Sales Funnel provides your Next New Customer with the powerful opportunity to Know, Like and even Trust you even before they reach out or contact you. The reality in the digital age is, if they don’t like what they discover online (or if they can’t find you online) they are just going to keep searching for another solution . . . like your competition.

All businesses, professionals and nonprofit organizations share 5 critical marketing goals in common that can be used as the foundation of your Integrated Actionable Marketing Plan.
1-Attract Next New Customers
2-Improve Customer Retention
3-Add-On Sales and Increase Order Frequency
4-Redirect Unprofitable Customers
5-Create and Promote Brand Enthusiasts

After the foundation of your marketing plan has been formed, you need to include any other marketing goals that may be required to achieve your organizations specific mission.

You can’t measure results without measurable objectives. Start by using the 5-specific marketing goals to create 5-measurable objectives to provide the guidance to propel your organization to reach your marketing goals. Then follow the same procedure for your organizations specific goals to achieve your mission. This is where the magic happens and we will discuss measurable objectives in greater detail next week.

An effective Marketing Plan is integrated, linked and coordinated with the channels your Next New Customer utilizes. If not, it will be much less effective and may be even doomed to failure. There are so many channels today, how do I know what channels I need to be on. The answer to this and most marketing questions is to focus on your Next New Customers behavior. What channels are they on, demographic data will help but the best way is to simply ask?

Create a unified and seamless experience for your Next New Customer to interact with you. Ensure all aspects of your marketing communications including advertising, promotion, public relations, social networking and even sales, are all work together using the same message and similar appearance as a unified force. Design your plan to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and most importantly are focused on your Next New Customer.

Marketing plans are so often created at great expense, printed out then inserted or bound in a premium binder with a fancy cover and stuck on a shelf someplace and do little more than collect dust. The only time it’s pulled out is when something goes wrong so everyone can defend themselves or figure out who’s at fault.

The fact is, everyone in your organization from the person that welcomes customers at the front door to the person that cleans the floor at night needs to be responsible for specific marketing objectives. Customers may decide to search for another solution if they feel something as simple as your floors are not clean. And that’s not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing that can happen is they can write a negative rating or review online damaging your reputation and reducing your brand equity.

Measurable objectives are the key to an actionable marketing plan. Every person in the organization needs to know what their marketing objectives are and how well they are accomplishing them so they can continuously improve. Marketing objectives can be a powerful metric and should be used by human resources to provide guidance and consistent growth for every member of your team.

When you are working “in” your business you are working for your customers and you can earn an hourly or piece rate and if you are good at what you do, a comfortable living. When you are working “on” your business you are working for yourself and then you have an opportunity to create real value and wealth. A business growing on it’s own is infinitely more valuable than one that isn’t

Everyone has to work “in” their business at times but successful business people make time every week to work “on” their business for themselves, their families and their investors. So always plan your day around your marketing plan toward accomplishing your goals towards achieving your mission. Never “just try to fit it in” because as you know all too well, something always comes up to distract you from your goals.

Next week’s post will discuss Marketing Goal Number-1, “Attracting Your Next New Customers”. Keep those calls and emails coming, I love hearing from you.

Share this post

Your next new customer has changed the way they buy . . . Have you changed the way you sell?