Marketing is serious business. Communicating in the right way means not only gaining huge market presence, but also gaining recognition.
Marketing means conveying the right message to the right audience, through the right methods and the right channels, in an efficient, effective and profitable way. Behind this definition lie all the necessary components of a solid marketing plan. In order to build an effective marketing plan, you need to know what message you want to convey, which audience to address and how to get that message across to that audience.
However simple this definition may appear on paper, in practice, nothing can be taken for granted. It could be said that these three components act as a support grid, a framework upon which to build our communication. The analysis allows you to choose the most suitable means by which to address the target audience. The ultimate aim of any marketing activity is to lead a potential customer to take the initiative, firstly to become a customer and then later to evolve into a loyal customer.
For some businesses, it will be more effective to stimulate sales with good discounts, for others with a direct phone call, and for others, through specifically targeted emails, prepared down to the last detail.
Marketing nowadays is very different from the way it was in the 1990s, when Dan Kennedy published the first edition of The Ultimate Marketing Plan. The rise of social media, for example, has provided a new tool which can generate real results. However, it is, after all, just another tool, whereas the ultimate goal has not changed.
Marketing is about pushing something, be it a product or a service, so that the public is aware of its existence. According to Dan Kennedy, the starting point consists of 5 preliminary questions, whose answers provide a clear context in which to develop our plan of action.
The first question is: have you built your marketing around the most powerful, intriguing, fascinating message?
The second: have you defined your target well? Can you describe your customer, in detail?
Third: Are you considering the right media to get your message across to your audience?
The fourth: can you be as effective as you are efficient?
The fifth: are you calculating your ROI on investments made, or are you just guessing?
These questions are used to set up a definitive marketing plan. Once the message has been identified, the target audience is assessed. Too large an audience will bring unpredictable results, whereas a select and specific audience will bring clearer results.
Once the message and the target have been established, we move on to the research and analysis of the most effective channel for communicating that precise message to that specific audience. In fact, each media has its own specification and finding the right one is part of the right strategy as are the workings of the right ROI. Each marketing activity must generate a measurable return on investment, which is based on a series of mathematical calculations. The transition from theory to practice breaks the creative spectrum wide open, to now include how to give proposition form and how to put it into words.
A good marketing plan is the result of a lot of analysis, plenty of experience and of course, creativity.