Systematizing Your Tactical Marketing Plan
After reading and listening to everything we’ve given you to create a solid strategic marketing plan, it’s now time to implement it. Tactical Marketing is the stage in your business development where we begin to implement your Strategic Marketing Plan. You may have been thinking to yourself, “Hey all of this sounds great, but how much is it going to cost me?” What we’re going to talk about here is how to systematize your marketing plan. What I want you to do is the take a look at the following Tactical Marketing Plan Overview / Cost Worksheet as we begin to look at what will cost to implement your Tactical Marketing plan.
You’ll see things listed there that we have already talked about such as Lead Generators, Marketing Tools, (Hopper) Nurturing System, Knock Down Lists, and Other Costs. Because every company’s tactical plan will be different and because every company’s budget will be different, I’m going to talk in generalities here so you understand the overall process. The first question everyone wants to know is how much money should you allocate to the implementation of your Strategic Marketing plan?
Well, if you remember what I said previously, I believe you should spend AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN afford to.
Now let me clarify that for a moment. We’re talking about executing a plan that has a solid strategic foundation – one that is deeply rooted in The Marketing Equation. I also want to remind you about our section where I talked about performing small-scale tests to ensure that it is providing you a return on your marketing investment before rolling it out on a larger playing field. However, assuming that those factors have been met, how much you should spend on marketing and advertising should be obvious by now – AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.
Look, marketing offers you the ultimate leverage in your business than any other part. In fact, it allows you to create what we call a ‘profit faucet’. When you can figure out how to effectively generate leads, why would you want to limit how many leads you can possibly handle? Assuming those leads are profitable, why on earth would you want to limit the number of leads you can generate to some artificial or arbitrary number set by “the budget?”
Let’s be clear, marketing is the MOST IMPORTANT activity your company can engage in because it offers you leverage. The upside potential is UNLIMITED. Every other function in your business is subservient to marketing. And given that this is true, you should absolutely maximize your investment in this area because it will make the biggest difference in your company’s bottom line.
Your Tactical Marketing Plan
Now let’s look at the worksheet. You’ll notice that Lead Generators is the first section listed. The specific type of lead generator that you use will depend on your business and your market. By now you should have figured out which lead generators work best for your business. If you need help in this area we recommend you contact us so that we can work with your to help you identify your best lead generators. The main thing to do is to look at what your competitors are doing and where they’re investing their time, money and energy. Remember in marketing, it’s always better to be one of the pack, than a lone dog who thinks he’s found some tool that everyone else has missed. That’s usually not the case. In any event, remember what we said about small-scale testing to be sure that your lead generators are producing a return on your marketing investment. Remember as you fill-in the ‘Cost’ of each lead generator be sure to calculate your total costs such as the amount for each radio or TV spot along with any production costs. If it’s a PPC campaign, be sure to review your small scale test results so you know how much you are going to have to pay per click so that you know what your daily budget needs to be, multiplied by the duration of your campaign. If it’s a direct mail campaign be sure to include the cost of renting or purchasing the mailing list, the cost of the printing and postage and the cost of the mail house processing.
Remember, the whole idea of this worksheet is to figure out how much it’s going to cost you to implement your tactical marketing plan. Once you have entered all the pertinent data in each column, add them all up. If you need more space, download the Excel version we have here and insert more rows so that you can input all of your lead generator types and get all of your costs down. When working with our clients we have custom branded forms available for download and online versions in our private client area on our website.
Next you’re going to identify all the different types of Marketing Tools you’re going to need. If you don’t already have a website, you’re going to need one designed and developed implementing the Marketing Equation.
If you already have a website, you’re still very likely going to need strategic marketing equation-based content strategically planned and created so that it engages your prospects and customers the way that we have talked about throughout the Strategic Marketing portion of system.
You’re going to need to need 8 – 10 strategic marketing equation-based scripts for your videos for use throughout your site to move prospects along the educational spectrum by educating them about what they need to know in order to make the best decision possible. You’re going to need complete sales scripting package that includes a scripted On-hold message.
You’re going to need at least one custom designed and produced special report that instills confidence in the minds of your prospects and customers.
You may need to produce an audio CD / MP3 file that facilitates the prospect’s decision-making process.
If you have testimonials, they’re probably full of platitudes, so you’ll need to work with your customers using one of the strategies we’ve educated you about so that you can get testimonials that mention the hot buttons your prospective customers feel are important and relevant to their situation. Again, the whole point of this worksheet is to layout all of the costs involved in executing your tactical marketing plan so that you can see them and then evaluate them.
Next is the Hopper or Lead Nurturing System, which is just a list of all of the methods in which you plan to ‘drip’ educational content to your prospects once you have them in the system. The purpose of each of these tools is to educate your prospects and facilitate the decision-making process so that they can become confident they know enough to be able to make the best decision possible when it comes to buying what you have to sell.
There are a variety of ways to stay in touch with your prospects, however the most common methodologies are: Email, postcards, SMS text messages, and voicemail (whether direct or indirect). Email is straightforward in that you will implement some type of autoresponder system that can automatically send out messages to your list on a scheduled basis. Creating the content for those messages is something we’ll talk about a little later. When it comes to direct mail, we recommend sending out postcards, in particular we recommend sending large 6″ x 11″ over-sized postcards. These are the largest postcards that will fit in a standard mailbox without having to be folded. Plus with postcards, there is nothing to open, and with the large size there’s plenty of room to place hot button-laden headlines and a sub-headline that promises to educate the reader. At the time of this writing (2013) printing, postage, and the mail house costs will run about $0.75 each. Of course this doesn’t include the design and layout of the cards themselves and you’ll need to adjust those prices if you’re somewhere outside of the United States or if mail prices have gone up recently.
So, if you were planning to send out postcards to your list once every four weeks, and you have a list of 5,000 prospects, that’s 13x per year. So you’ve got 13 x 5,000 = 65,000 postcards and at $0.75 each, that will cost about $48,750 per year. Now let’s say you allocated $4,000 for the design and layout of those postcards, so that brings the total cost for those postcards to $52,750 for the year.
Now sending emails your costs will be significantly less and will cost you anywhere from FREE to a few cents apiece when you factor in initial implementation costs such as email address acquisition, creation of the email messages, and the setup and configuration of your Automated Follow-up System (AFS). Let’s allocate $5,000 to cover all of your implementation costs.
Next, let’s look at SMS text messaging. In 2009, U.S. wireless carriers reported that the volume of text messages surpassed the number of phone calls for the first time. Mobile phones have redefined our availability and now texting is leading a whole new wave of change in our lives. At this very moment, there are five times as many people using text messaging globally as there are using email!
The scourge of SPAM has caused lots, if not most unfamiliar email to not get opened. The good news is text messages are viewed faster and replied to more readily than any other form of communication, period. Text messages, which currently have an astounding 96% open rate, are typically read within an average of 15 minutes after they’ve been received and are responded to within an hour!
Additionally, according to a 2012 report from the Interactive Marketing Professionals Association by 2016, advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing — as much as they do on television today. Search marketing, display advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing, and social media will grow to 35% of all advertising spend as they are embedded in the marketing mix. We expect this growth to help firms become adaptive, kill off daily deals, re-emphasize marketing’s “p’s,” and turn consumer electronics into audience-targeting tools.
In short, SMS text message marketing is fast becoming another powerful tool in any marketer’s hopper system. Text messaging, like emails have very little cost involved. The primary expenses are capturing prospects mobile phone number, securing permission to send them text messages, (new legislation passed in 2013 requires EXPLICIT permission), creating your text messages and setting up and configuring your Automated Follow-up System. (AFS) Here, let’s allocate $5,000 to cover all of your implementation costs.
Lastly, let’s look at another new technology called ‘Direct-to-voicemail‘.
Outbound voice message marketing has been used for years – and poorly at that. Why? Well the fact is you’re usually interrupting your prospect. When you send an outbound voice blast you catch your customer in the middle of something – driving, a business meeting or picking up the kids from school. Whatever the scenario is, you’re interrupting them and not only risk resentment, but actually risk losing them altogether.
Our Automated Follow-up System (AFS) has a way to get your voice message out to customers without the interruption. Calls are placed DIRECT-to-VOICEMAIL on your customer’s mobile phone inbox (their phone doesn’t even ring; it just signals that they’ve received a voicemail). This way when your customer checks for messages at their convenience they will see and review your message. Our research shows that your communication to them is more likely to be heard and they are more likely to respond. Your instant personal message can make that initial response a true connection, instead of an impersonal, generic response days later.
Fortunately, adding this message delivery format will cost you nothing if you subscribe to our AFS service. The only expense is acquiring the mobile phone number for all of your prospects, creating the text messages, and setup and configuration of the Automated Follow-up System itself. Acquisition of the mobile numbers may be included in your prospect list lease or purchase, so let’s add $2,500 to cover all of your implementation costs for this modality.
So, let’s review our total costs to implement this hopper system; one postcard every four weeks to each of our 5,000 prospects: $52,750 + emails $5,000 + SMS text messages $5,000 + Direct-to-Voicemail $2,500 brings us to a total of $65,250 to implement this hopper system.
Now you should begin to have an appreciation for this worksheet. Now to some that might sound like a lot of money and to others it may not seem like a lot. What you have to figure out is how much your average customer and average sale is worth to you before you determine if in fact that number is a lot or not. First of all, that’s $5,437.5o or about $5,400 per month. Does that sound like a lot to you? It helps to put things in perspective. What you need to do now is go back and get your Marketing ROI Worksheet that we used previously to determine how much to spend on advertising because advertising should be an investment. Whatever you spend on advertising should come back to you and bring some friends with them. In other words, your advertising should make you money. We can also use it to determine the profitability of a hopper system depending on what your average sale is worth in terms of gross profit to determine if this is a worthwhile activity or not. That’s the point of this worksheet; to help you make intelligent and informed decisions.