A marketing plan, kezaco? If the expression sounds familiar to you, it is because the term looks like two drops of water in terms of communication …
Now, the marketing plan is much more than that as I explain in this video:
Indeed, the marketing plan includes all of the outbound physical prospecting (in other words, pushing a product towards the customer), outbound communication (display and other advertising) as well as inbound deployment (which consists of bring the customer to you).
The following article will establish both the methodology, the objectives of the plan and the concrete actions in order to specify examples. It is based on my work in intervention at the ESG in the fall of 2019 with Bachelors3 in Marketing and allows to answer the question:
What methodology and what are the steps to establish a marketing plan ?
Let’s start by making an observation, simple and abysmal: the attrition rate (churn rate) persists, and this, even in 2020. Any company that communicates little or not in the context of its operations sees its customers decrease by about 10% each year (broad averages suggest 5 to 20%.
There is therefore a customer rotation loop which begins with prospect status, then new customer, existing customer, loyal customer, dissatisfied customer (even if he does not say so), dormant customer then new prospect for the competition.
Landing the attrition rate for a company at cruising speed
Prospecting must therefore be aimed both at discovering new customers but also and above all discovering new needs from existing customers and trying to reach maximum satisfaction in order to keep it.
From this my observation with the entrepreneurs I deal with is quite clear: VSEs do not take enough control. The comments are often the same for companies at cruising speed “the figure is good, but slightly below our expectations” … but when asked for their annual marketing plan, there is never anything specific, formalized… barely here and there a drip action because we do not want to put energy or budget.
However, the reality is that capturing customers costs (as well as investments in hard or stock). The rule is that in B2C, 10% of turnover is used each year to develop marketing actions. This should not be seen as a burden but rather as a lever in order to generate turnover …
Let’s ask all of my clients today about their marketing plan and almost none will be able to deliver a clean, precise document… let alone an annual budget.
In 2019, there are three of the heads of companies who carried out this exercise in a precise manner: Pierre Henri Merrer of OneClick Prevention, Adele Jungling of Peacock and Geraldine Bovo of GBO Conseils.
The importance of setting goals
When defining a marketing plan, it is important to set short, medium and long term goals … whether quantitative or qualitative. Here are some examples :
Be careful however with quantitative objectives, it is necessary to have intermediate objectives throughout the actions otherwise you lose motivation
Brakes and targets of sales teams
At this point, it is important to try to remove the psychological barriers that are often due to the fact that you feel inferior to a client, that you lack confidence and that you will disturb. A service or product meets a need; if a target has been determined, the service will necessarily have sales potential.
Announcing trivialities such as “I want to reach all audiences” is useless for several reasons … Firstly because it is impossible to have a universal product or service but above all it will waste a lot of time in terms of communication to the company which will wish to prospect or communicate…. The larger the audience, the more generic the message and the less impact it will have.
The importance of the database
In pushing the product (outbound marketing), it is necessary to use databases. At the start, this database can be an Excel format with several tabs, but in order to get better organized, it will be imperative to keep this type of tool up to date.
A database is used to store and retrieve all of the raw data or information related to a theme or activity. It can be made up of “prospect” data and becomes a CRM when the prospect becomes a customer (CRM: Customer relation management)
For individuals (B2C), prospecting files including telephone, email or post are particularly requested. There are many providers for the sale or rental of files with segmentation criteria (geographic, demographic, socio-demographic, behavioral, personal information, etc.)
Where do such client files come from?
Most providers cross-check real data (yellow pages) with participation in commercial offers, various subscriptions, registration on different sites, purchases, etc. etc. ; the reality being that since the implementation of the GDPR, it is not possible to send a mailing or a newsletter to a prospect who has not given his consent
Databases certified with the agreement of prospects are now sold at a high price.
A database is perpetually composed via sponsorship actions, networking, attracting new customers on the internet (magnet to prospects), recommendation actions, research in directories, press, etc. etc.
Personally, I find it relevant to work with partners on coregistration principles, which consists in taking advantage of subscribing to a newsletter to subscribe
For business targets (B2C), work can now be done using Linkedin (see training elsewhere) via growth hacking and certain plugins in particular.
Once the objectives have been determined and the tools have been put in place (IT tools, databases, media, etc.), the prospecting vectors should be selected. What content for which tools? Outbound or Inbound, should you choose?
Let’s start with outbound prospecting:
Outbound prospecting vectors
A prospecting or marketing plan can be in the form of a table depending on the actions and targets, that is to say that for each action, it will be necessary to specify the objective, the target, the performance indicator. , the media (or medium), the budget, the period and the speaker.
Outbound marketing (also called Outbound marketing) is the most traditional form of marketing; it includes print communication, canvassing and representation.
Here are the most common prospecting vectors:
- Telephone prospecting;
- Direct marketing (emailing, direct mail, sms);
- Physical prospecting;
- Display and various advertisements;
- Participation in fairs.
Beware of public displays: the distribution of flyers, the visuals in magazines are only valid if the target is clearly identified. Make a flyer and put it down anywhere will have no interest and it will stay in the same place where you put it down; it’s like leaving a business card on a merchant’s counter …
On the other hand, I compensate that betting on less “traditional” actions such as direct sales and sales in meetings can help promote a brand and federate. Combined with the recommendation, sales in meetings can be a very good investment in time!
For actions requiring publications or printing, also pay attention to the message which must, for each action, be particularly worked on.
Organize, plan and budget prospecting in the marketing plan
For any prospecting action, it will be important to establish a retro-planning which will specify each month the prospecting capital and will install the actions by days and / or blocks.
In the organization, it is important to target the useful prospects in the client portfolio, remain lucid about these possibilities and establish a budget. Reminder of Pareto’s law: 20% of customers generate 80% of turnover.
New digital tools
As stated in the preamble, today the outbound cannot ignore the inbound and vice versa. The two must be done together which allows me to introduce digital tools in this article.
They often take the form of sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to customers, inbound will attract qualified prospects to your business. Inbound marketing appears content marketing, which consists of publishing the right content in the right place at the right time.
Inbound combines content marketing, natural referencing, dissemination on social networks (SEM) as well as special offers and event organizations.
Once the means determined, it will be necessary to determine the frequency, the means, the support and the speakers (with whom will you associate yourself?)
Focus on SEM
Today more than ever, it will be necessary to learn to manage the SEM (search engine management) which consist of SEO (organic referencing) and SEA (paying referencing)
SEA (keywords bought on Google, Facebook or Instagram ads) consist of SMA (social media advertising) and VSEA (video search engine advertising / example of video pushed on social networks via budget).
Loyalty, monitoring of operations and R.O.I. of the marketing plan
Of course, all actions must take into account meticulous monitoring and evaluation. This step will be the subject of a new article in the coming weeks. Do not hesitate to follow the news section of my site for this.