You know you need one. One what? A marketing plan, of course!
As I’ve said many times…Random Acts of Kindness are wonderful; Random Acts of Marketing are not. A carefully crafted marketing plan will help you avoid the aimless expenditure of valuable marketing dollars, and will provide the focus you need to grow and accomplish the goals you have in mind.
I was reminded of this again today when a question was posed from a marketer who was in a firm where no one was interested in, nor had time to, write a marketing plan. She asked for advice.
Here is what I would do if you need help, or if you need a jump start to get that marketing plan written:
The people in your firm/company are such busy people, and many aren’t interested in, or excited about, marketing. Some will be, and those will become your marketing champions who will help you usher in a new era of marketing and business development. When you find them, keep them very, very close.
Create a list of strategic marketing questions that will help you write the marketing plan. Schedule one-hour (if you can get it) meetings with each person in your firm. If there are too many, then make sure you visit firm management, group or brand leaders, and representatives from every level of the firm. This is not only helpful for gathering intelligence for the marketing plan, but it will also help you gain respect and firm footing as you learn as much as possible about their individual practices or responsibilities, their needs, goals, how they think the firm has marketed in the past, what they think worked, didn’t work, what they think should be done, who their target clients are, etc.
Then take this information, which will be overwhelming for you so get help transcribing your notes (or type them during the interview so your work is minimized), and summarize answers to each question.
Then create your Marketing Strike Force who will help you from this point on to create the firm’s marketing plan. If you can only get them to meet for short amounts of time, schedule Marketing Action Sessions where you present the findings to each question, one-by-one, to this group who, by the way, you and your leadership have agreed will be a good marketing team. If you do it with this team, with their support, vs. writing it all yourself, your chances for success will be much greater. It becomes the firm’s plan, not just yours. It creates a sense of ownership.
If you don’t have representatives from all areas of the firm at every level on your Strike Force, then recruit a few to round out your team, and to make sure all perspectives are represented. Again, you are doing whatever you can now to make sure this process succeeds, as well as creating brand advocates who will help you execute the plan.
Let all in the firm know this group is the group that is going to be serving them by working on the firm’s marketing plan together, and if they are interested in joining you, you would love to have them.
Meet with this group and start to discuss and reach agreement on what the firm’s answers to each question need to be. These will be healthy discussions. Schedule these marketing action sessions until you have hammered out all components of your marketing plan. Help your group feel good about the progress you and they are making. Reward them along the way by doing things that help them to feel like a leadership team, which they are! If you need help outside the firm, ask for it. If you don’t, that’s great.
The important thing is that you get started soon so you can contribute to the strategic success of the firm sooner than later.