Marketing plan on one page

October 27, 2021
What to do if you do nothing in marketing right now? You know that you should deal with it, but you don't know where or how to get started or even who exactly to call for help? Surprisingly, this struggle is more common than one would imagine. After all, 99% of all the businesses in the world are small – meaning that most often it’s just the overwhelmed business owner who must do everything. So, how to get started? This is the topic that Mari-Liis Vaher addressed in the July 2021 issue of the leadership magazine Director.

Let’s get clear on the fundamentals

The most important function of marketing is internal and external communication. This means how your current and new potential customers hear about your company, and it also helps your own employees understand what and why we do and where we are going collectively. All the employees of your company are your first marketers who consciously and subconsciously talk about your company outside of work anyway.

Internal communication helps a lot here, and if you don't do it enough, employees assume and interpret different situations on their own and can thus give their friends and acquaintances a completely different impression of your brand than you envision. For communication to work purposefully, ie memorably and credibly, repetition is needed. Water also does not carve a hole in a stone after a single drop - time and consistency are needed.

Create clarity about communication channels and their goals: for example, a monthly internal newsletter with important news; a general meeting summarizing the results and goals of the month; Facebook group or chat for current communication, etc. By having your employees know where and how often they can find information and who to turn to for additional questions, you will avoid unnecessary confusion and the spread of misinformation.

But what are the MANDATORY channels and activities that every company should maintain and include in their marketing plan for external communication?

  • Website is your online business card, which must always contain the latest information regarding your company and its products-services. Make sure to provide answers quickly and conveniently to everything the customer may need (location, opening hours, contacts, information on services and products, ordering, etc.). Remember, this is the home of all your information over which you have full control. If you decide not to create a website and use only Facebook, LinkedIn or another social media channel, then in theory you must be ready at any time for someone else to be able to block or moderate your page without a warning.
  • Online findability. In order for your website to work purposefully and bring you out organically or for free in various search engines, you should work with its content. Add, edit, update information related to your products and services, regularly write blogs on topics (and keywords) that are important to the target group, organize keywords for SEO (search engine optimization), etc. This way, search engines see the website as dynamic and up-to-date, and they prefer to display its content in front of pages that are outdated, without an update for years, or technically flawed. Check the loading speed of the website and how it opens on different devices, as this is also important for algorithms.
  • Be sure to integrate Google Analytics with your website so you can analyze the behavior of your website visitors and draw conclusions about the impact of your sales and marketing activities. If possible, have Google Data Studio or a similar dashboard set up for real-time access to all your marketing activities and their results (e.g. homepage, social media, ads, newsletters, etc.). To understand what works and does not work in your marketing is crucial for your management decisions (it is also worth comparing sales results here, including the change in the number of calls and inquiries compared to what happens in marketing).
  • Digital ads don't have to be expensive or complicated. Start with search engines and social media. In both cases, the ads can be divided into two:

    • Raising awareness (i.e., showing your ads to a specific audience based on certain criteria, such as interests, behavior, or demographics). You can create ads either by buying advertising space directly from the channels or through advertising platforms (eg Google, Adform and other software environments), through which you usually get more impressions for a cheaper price. The difference is that your ads appear dynamically on the pages your audience visits. The goal of any ad is to get a person to your website: this way you can later on remarket to people who already showed an initial interest.
    • Conversions (or retargeting ads that you show to those who have already visited your website or done other desired activities). In the age of ad overload, in 99% of cases, no one will buy from you after hearing about you only once. Through repetition, you help build trust and people will remember your brand when they need a product or service that you offer, and you can direct personalized content to them (e.g., depending on the page they visited).
  • Social media content creation also doesn't have to mean a full-time employee when planning and organizing your activities. The biggest obstacles to successful content creation are a lack of consistency and focus. Have one definite focus per month, write a blog post about it (useful for SEO!) and then post different snippets from it on social media for a month (for example, one day a quote from a post, then one useful source, interesting statistic or fact, useful recommendation, trick, etc.). The same content can be viewed from different angles and through repetition you help your target audience create clarity.
  • Work with existing customers. It is 7 times more expensive to bring a new customer than to keep an existing customer, to encourage them to make repeat purchases and to receive recommendations for new potential customers. Marketing doesn't end with the customer's first purchase - it's just the beginning of the customer relationship. Ask for feedback, be there for the client, remember them, consider their concerns and listen to their suggestions.

If your online business card is in order and it is supported by consistent communication activities, you will be stronger than your competitors in just a few months.

 Marketing doesn't have to be too complicated or too expensive. For a minimum viable level, anyone can already do a lot for their business and then take the focus on where to go step by step. It's worse if you don't do anything at all.

When you listen to service providers in different niche areas of marketing, they are often inclined to offer their service and put more emphasis on it. Therefore, it is difficult for the decision-maker to find the so-called middle ground and comparability - each bidder inevitably pulls your in their own direction.

 A good solution is a balance between all activities and purposeful and consistent communication. Your current marketing plan can therefore be very successful on one page, and if you find the person(s) who keep it working on a daily basis, you will sooner or later experience good customer feedback, more inquiries and collaborations, and combined with sales activities also better business results.

PS! If you want to schedule your marketing activities with budgets and have them all in a simple spreadsheet, then check out our free download 12 Month Marketing Plan with metrics.

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