Smart marketing planning strategically supports sales and provides measurable growth to your company’s bottom line. Sadly, many marketing professionals don’t know how to put together a strategic marketing plan to achieve the results their company needs.
Unseasoned professionals jump straight into tactics and forget about some of the most important elements that drive a successful and implementable plan. Here are six of the biggest mistakes marketing professionals make when putting together their yearly plan.
#1 – Not Having SMART Goals
Your first step is to clearly define your goals. Your marketing goals need to align with your company goals. What are they? Are they based on revenue, growing your agent base, adding new offerings or forming strategic partnerships? When it comes to setting goals to help guide your marketing efforts, be SMART. Make sure they can measure up against the following:
#2 – Skimping on Strategy
Now that you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to decide which roads to travel in order to reach those mile markers. At this stage, you should clearly define:
- The persona(s) you’re going to focus on: Who is your ideal agent? What do they care about?
- The number of leads you need to pull in each week to reach your quarterly revenue targets.
- The types of resources you’ll need in order to create, publish and promote your marketing assets.
#3 – Tactless Tactics
Now you’ll develop a list of tactics to get your message in the hands of your target audience. These can range from seminars and webinars to print, online, direct mail and social media. The key is to avoid a one-legged marketing plan by ensuring your tactics are spread across multiple channels.
In this stage, you need to define:
- What unique content you’ll need to create to engage your ideal prospect.
- The promotional channels in which you’ll launch your content.
- The lead-nurturing emails and sales process you’ll create and automate.
- The internal resources or external partners that will help you create and deliver your content to your target prospects.
#4 – Tactics Aren’t Trackable
My favorite question when working with new clients is “How are you measuring the success of this campaign?” You’d be surprised how many don’t have a good answer. Using clearly defined success metrics — and ensuring every marketing effort is tracked — should be a fundamental part of your marketing plan.
Metrics you should track include the number of qualified leads gained, the growth of your marketing database, your conversion rate, etc. It’s imperative that you know exactly what’s working and the ROI of every marketing campaign. How else will you know you’re on track to hit your goals?
#5 – Not Assigning Responsibility
Who’s going to do what? In this section of your marketing plan, you’ll need to assign names of those directly responsible for executing your strategy.
If multiple people are working on one part of the strategy, there should still be a single person responsible for that section. This puts ownership in the hands of individual contributors and will eliminate ambiguity about who is responsible for completing a task or section of a larger project.
#6 – Not Investing in Results
The good news: Those big, lofty recruitment goals you’re setting ARE achievable. The bad news: If you’re not tracking your ROI and average conversion rate, you’ll never know how much you need to invest to actually achieve those goals. Every good marketer keeps metrics and knows how much they need to invest in marketing to get the results necessary to grow sales.
The marketing team here at InsuranceNewsNet can help you put together a strategic marketing plan that helps accomplish your annual marketing goals. We start with an in-depth marketing questionnaire, hold a strategy session and then present a final plan — at no cost to you! Call us today to get started — we want to make this year your best year yet!