It’s a given that businesses are always on the search to find ways to generate leads that generate sales. Even generating sales isn’t enough. We want to increase our sales and grow. But in order to do that, we need a marketing plan that works. All to often, I see businesses operate without a marketing plan. They have goals, but they don’t have a set roadmap on how to accomplish those goals. Instead, there are haphazard attempts and experiments that may or may not work.
So what does a good, effective, marketing plan look like that actually generates those leads that turn into sales?
For starters, there is no one size fits all plan that you can copy and paste. A good marketing plan is a custom solution. That being said, there are some characteristics that are pretty general that you can customize and develop a marketing plan that works for you.
A good marketing plan is…
- Consumer driven. Your primary focus is meeting the needs of your base. Everything you do, every product you or service you’re offering should meet the needs of your consumer. It should provide value and solve a problem.
Communication is key in marketing. What you do in your direct marketing strategy should compliment what your online marketing efforts and vice versa. Along those lines, messages should be consistent.
- Contains quality content. There is a big push for quality content, especially among B2B marketers. According to eMarketer, 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing in their marketing plans. Content, both print and digital, is what drives conversions and generates sales.
- Flexible. I say this a lot. Marketing is fluid. Marketing plans should have a general structure, but they should also be flexible. If you’re doing something that isn’t generating leads, don’t continue to do it simply because it’s the plan. Stop and adjust your marketing plan accordingly so you don’t waste your precious budget.
There are other components to a good marketing plan, but those are industry and audience specific. You first need to understand the basics. We’ll go into detail about other components later.