Step 4: Develop the marketing communications strategies and tactics you’ll use.
This section is the heart and soul of your marketing plan. In the previous sections, you outlined what your marketing must accomplish and identified your best prospects; now it’s time to detail the tactics you’ll use to reach these prospects and accomplish your goals.
A good marketing program targets prospects at all stages of your sales cycle. Some marketing tactics, such as many forms of advertising, public relations and direct marketing, are great for reaching cold prospects. Warm prospects—those who’ve previously been exposed to your marketing message and perhaps even met you personally—will respond best to permission-based email, loyalty programs and customer appreciation events, among others. Your hottest prospects are individuals who’ve been exposed to your sales and marketing messages and are ready to close a sale. Generally, interpersonal sales contact (whether in person, by phone, or email) combined with marketing adds the final heat necessary to close sales.
To complete your tactics section, outline your primary marketing strategies, then include a variety of tactics you’ll use to reach prospects at any point in your sales cycle. For example, you might combine outdoor billboards, print advertising and online local searches to reach cold prospects but use email to contact your warm prospects.
To identify your ideal marketing mix, find out which media your target audience turns to for information on the type of product or service you sell. Avoid broad-based media—even if it attracts your target audience—if the content isn’t relevant. The marketing tactics you choose must reach your prospects when they’ll be most receptive to your message.
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