Plan a Year of Marketing Strategy and Tactics in 8 Hours (or Less)
Marketing strategy is as simple as answering a few basic questions:
1. Who are we targeting?
2. What do they need to know?
3. What methods will we use?
Here’s how to plan out your marketing year.
Marketing is one of the easier things out there in a home service business. It’s very formulaic.
If we invest this much money into Y, our revenue will grow by X — based off of last year’s results.
You need to figure out what your formula is, because every market is different.
We grew 30% each year because we planned for 30% growth. The best thing you can do is to schedule a full day to plan out your marketing year. I remember trying to do this at the office. Bad idea. The constant flow of daily responsibility pulled us in all directions, and it was difficult to give the marketing plan our undivided attention. That year didn’t see near the growth it could’ve.
So learn from my mistakes and get away from the office for a day, and focus 100% on the gameplan.
We knew we wanted to grow by 30%, and we knew that if we spent X in Y, we’d get there (again, this is based on our past results).
We made a big, elaborate spreadsheet, allocated 10% of our future budget to multiple categories of marketing; PPC, direct mail, billboards — everything we could think of.
We spent an entire day with the people responsible for the big-picture marketing decisions and chiseled out how much we’d allocate to each form of marketing and advertising.
That’s the easiest part.
Figuring out whether linear or seasonal marketing works better isn’t too difficult either.
The more time-consuming task is to figure out specifically where you’re going to spend the money for each category.
One mailer a month or two? Are we targeting current customers or new customers? Both?
For this part, use the combined experience of your team and make decisions based on what’s worked for you in the past. Also, take into account what’s most likely to work and what’s likely to fail in the future too — stay up to date and relevant.
Billboards. Always plan it a year in advance — now’s a really good time. If you haven’t made plans yet, believe me, you’ll want to start now.
Plan a month ahead for direct mail design.
Take even more time to plan ahead for radio and commercial scripts.
We always did the ads in house, and the network would film it for us. You really need to plan ahead for this, because they only have certain slots open — slots that close fast.
If all goes well during your workshop, and you’ve planned out the entire year based on content, spend, category, type, etc, start implementing the strategy immediately.
This is 10% of your total spend and believe me, it’s worth every penny. Marketing is vital, and it takes $$ to fuel the machine. You’ve got to be okay with feeding your marketing machine, otherwise you’re planning for nothing.
Make sure you track everything, so next year you can make even better decisions.