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Smart Marketing Ep 3 – 7 Keys to a Simple Marketing Plan

Check out the latest episode of Smart Marketing. The video is transcribed below for anyone more interested in reading then watching.

Smart Marketing – 7 Keys to a Simple Marketing Plan

Hi this is Stephen Cohen with AlphaGraphics West Valley, thank you for watching Smart Marketing. Today I wanted to talk about the 7 keys to creating a simple marketing plan. We work with a lot of small businesses and most of them understand that marketing is important but don’t really understand how to create a solid marketing plan so that their marketing is effective.

The first step to a simple marketing plan is identifying or setting a monthly budget. A lot of our clients we’ve talked to start by saying they will spend whatever they want to spend or whatever they need to spend on their marketing budget but in reality we usually have a set amount that we are comfortable spending and if we write down what that is it makes it easier for us to determine how to market ourselves. AlphaGraphics West Valley recommends that you spend between 3%-5% of your gross revenue on marketing. That’s kind of a general small business average.

The second is to determine your audience. You can do this most easily by looking at your current clients and determining factors like potentially their age, gender, lifestyles. If you’re business to business what department they work in, what industries they work in. This helps you direct your messaging towards people that you understand are already purchasing from you and are more likely to buy from you.

The third is to decide your channels. So marketing channels are just the different avenues that you are going to reach out and touch people. Some examples would be website, using Search Engine Marketing like SEO or SEM, email, social media, direct mail, signage, those are the different types of channels. So you want to figure out what channels you are going to be putting your marketing funds in and then how much money you are going to dedicate to each channel.

Number four is to define success. A lot of times we will spend money marketing but won’t define what successful marketing looks like. Defining success would be things like a certain amount of click through rates on your pay per click campaign, the amount of walk in traffic you might want to get from your signage. Certain measurable metrics so we can determine whether the money we’ve spent is justified in the results that we get.

Number five is determine frequency. They key to any marketing campaign is to be consistent and frequency is really determining in each channel how often are you touching someone or how often are you posting. Some examples are if you choose Facebook as one of your channel you might decide that you want to make three posts a week. That would be frequency. Email, you might do one monthly email campaign or email blast to your client base. Determining frequency really helps you manage your marketing plan and be consistent about getting your marketing message out.

Number six is measuring. Like I said in defining success a lot of times we will start marketing but we won’t measure anything so we don’t know what is effective or not. The reason we want to measure is we want to determine what’s working and what’s not working. Our markets change quite frequently and let’s say you have a direct mail piece that’s getting really good results but your social media isn’t getting the kind of results you want. If you measure you can understand and determine maybe I’m going to take some funds out of my social media budget and put them in to direct mail budget because that’s working more effectively.

The seventh step is to tweak your plan. If I plan let’s say for 2015, I don’t want to halfway through 2015 completely change my plan but through measuring and defining success I’ll understand what’s working and what’s not working and then again that’s how I want to make small tweaks and modifications. Let’s say Facebook I’m posting three times a week, I might want to update that to five times a week. My email campaign is working really well for me so instead of one monthly blast I might be doing it twice a month. That’s kind of tweaking and modifying your plan as you go along.

Thank you for watching Smart Marketing, again Stephen with AlphaGraphics West Valley. Look forward to seeing you next time.

Brian Johnson

Posted by Brian Johnson