The last month has been busy for me and not great marketing planning. I had my holidays booked before I decided to start up this venture. Going on holiday less than 2 months after starting a business isn’t the best planning in the world.
However, some things work out this way and you need to crack on and manage it. Hence the title of this blog, I need to get back to PPM and that includes planning where I am going and how I am going to get there. I’m using this blog post as an opportunity to give you some hints, tips and pointers on business and marketing planning.
7 Top Tips
First of all, the most important point you need to think about is what do you want to achieve? For example; ‘I want to increase my customer numbers by 10% by July 2017’. Or ‘I want to receive 4 more website enquiries per month’.
Once you have your main goal, you will have a place to work back from. If you want to increase your customer numbers by 10% then you need to know what your customer numbers are currently, or what your current website enquiries are.
How do you record your customer numbers? Do you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to record all customer enquiries? Or do you use Google Analytics/Wordpress to identify how many clicks or enquiries you have via the website?
Finally, a decision about if you want to work with weekly, monthly or yearly numbers will be made. Understanding what the numbers are currently and what the goal is, will allow you to understand how many new customers/enquiries you need to gain to achieve your target. Allowing you to identify how many new customers you need to gain each week or month to achieve your goal.
Now you understand how many new customers/enquiries you need. Next, you need to identify who your customers are by perhaps sex, age, business type, location, sector, or any other relevant segments for your products/services.
A good way to understand your customers is to look at the current information you have about previous customers. This could be on social media, where you can use the analytics to identify who your followers/likers are. If you have a CRM system (which could be in the form of a spreadsheet or email folder) use the information contained in this to help identify customer details and trends.
For example, if you are a disco business, look back on your discos that have been booked. How many are 21st birthday parties? How many are weddings? Are your customer contact details 80% female? What locations are the customers or parties based in? Using the previous information to help you identify your target market(s).
As a result of the above, you have identified who your target customer(s) are. How are you going to contact and engage with them? Social media, networking events, adverts, conferences? Or perhaps a mix of some/all of them?
First of all, use the most powerful tool available for free to all of us . . . . . Google! Google (search) for statistics on trends and behaviours in your target customer market. For example, ‘what is the main social media platform used by females aged 25 to 30?’ or ‘what is the most popular smart phone games that males aged 18 to 25 use?’ Searching for this information can take time but it is worth it to identify where and how you are going to target your chosen customer. Make sure the statistics and information are from reputable sources.
Remember to check your progress on established targets and objectives (number 3). Using various targets and objectives along the planning journey is a good way to monitor how you are doing, and if you are on track to achieving your overall main goal.
Interacting with your customers and gaining feedback from them. Both the positive and negative. In order for you to learn and make their experience with you, even better.
Perhaps this could be in the form of a customer feedback survey. Or you could give them a call and speak to them directly, asking a set list of questions. A good way to gain customer feedback is to ask them to leave feedback for you on Google or social media sites. This helps other customers assess your services/products but also assists with search engine rankings.
Finally, check your progress on a monthly or quarterly basis to identify if you are on target and what is (or isn’t) working. There is NOTHING wrong with changing your plan half way through if it isn’t working. Make tweaks, change direction or start planning again. Some things don’t go to plan and that’s okay.
Mind Map’s are my favourite way to plan and they look nice too. Start with your main goal in the middle and branch out with arms to highlight how you are going to get there and what resources are needed. Or you could use a vision map, more details on these can be found at the Entrepreneurial Spark website by clicking here.
The above steps are general ones. There could be loads more details on planning but this gives you a good place to start. If you have any questions on planning (business or marketing) or anything else mentioned in this blog just drop me an email on Jen@perfectpennymarketing.co.uk or give me a call on 07506 697509.