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Marketing Planning the easy way

couple looking at fresh food inside a market

One thing I’ve been thinking about is how the COVID pandemic is changing how we do business. It is now more the norm for a toddler to do cameos during a teleconference call. I, for one, feel more comfortable saying to potential clients, hey, my 3-year-old son may want to say hi. I have read several articles recently that people are speculating that these sorts of changes may remain permanent. This means that not only are the ways we conduct business may be changing, but also that how we do marketing may also change.

One of the biggest ways that I think marketing is changing is how we get our marketing plans. Because trends shift so quickly, our plans need to be flexible. But who has the time and resources to change on a dime a marketing plan. Well, actually, you do. I think that I’ve come up with a way to do it that will provide the flexibility, while remaining time and cost effective for you.
How do I know I can do this? I’ve done it before. I helped a grassroots political group gain the attention of international press, which years later they are still reaping the benefits from. One thing that we had to do was shift quickly.

I’m tentatively calling this marketing planning: marketing planning the easy way — just like plug-n-play. It seems catchy. I’m going to go with that for now.

Basics of Marketing Planning Plug-N-Play

The basics of the plug-n-play is that you have a strategy for the marketing plan, you pick a goal; you pick a tactic; you implement the tactic, and you measure the results. (Then you evaluate the results, tweak, and repeat). 

Strategy

In the chapter I wrote for the Indie Writing Wisdom*, I talked about the customer’s purchasing decision stages. So, marketing helps a potential customer to go from wanting to read a book to buying your book to read.

I also talked about branding in the chapter, but I didn’t go into it as deeply as I have and will continue to do so. Branding is not easily categorized. Using the steps that I outlined in the chapter of the Indie Writing Wisdom, branding is a strategy, goal, and tactic. It fits every step. Beginning in (probably) February, I’ll begin adding workshops on branding. I wrote a little about how branding is basically its own thing, but really I could write volumes on it.

There’s an area that I didn’t talk about in the chapter: relationship marketing. You’ve seen things about this. It’s the sales funnel where you give a freebie in order to introduce yourself to a potential customer and slowly build a relationship with that customer. It’s also part of the reader magnet marketing plans.

Starting this January 2021, I’ll be putting on virtual workshops on this marketing planning plug-n-play, where you’ll not only leave with valuable information but also a marketing plan you can do.

Goal

You choose your goal by narrowing down what you’re targeting from the strategies. So if you’re going to target the purchasing decision process and want to help customers in the evaluation stage, you may offer a free chapter of a book or a free sample or a free session. That way the potential customer or client can see if they like what you have to offer. To pick a goal, you pick a specific part of the strategy. When you write up your goal, you’ll want to make sure that it is countable. So if you’re targeting the evaluation stage, your goal may be: get 10 downloads of my free eBook this month. That way you can tell if your marketing campaign was successful or not.

Tactic

Tactics are how you go about accomplishing your goals. I talked about this in the chapter of the Indie Writing Wisdom. I also list them in the post Marketing: A Primer.

Implementation

This is where you plan doing what you’re going to do. So if you’re planning on using social media to promote your eBook for download, then you’ll want to plan out what images you’ll be using, what captions/text you’ll be using, and what hashtags you’ll be using. You’ll also want a posting schedule.

Measure

When you create your goal, you want to make sure that it is something that you can count. Here you look at the numbers and evaluate what they mean. You may need to change your tactics, implementation, or your expectations.

*Affliate link. Proceeds will be donated to the Encephalitis Society.

And, that’s basically the framework.

Beginning in January, I’ll be giving workshops where I’ll not only go over in more detail what the purchasing decision process, branding, and relationship marketing are, but also be using a worksheet that I have developed to get an action plan to get started on a marketing campaign.

Speaking of workshops, I’ll also be giving a workshop on how to reuse the great stuff you came up with while you were working on your elevator speech. I’m all about recycling and reusing, so that you can get back to doing the things that you love and make you money. 

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