By Gennifer Biggs, IT By Design
Can you keep a secret? Even the most seasoned business owners can be overwhelmed when it’s time to launch a marketing plan. There are so many questions and possibilities, even marketing pros need to work through the process step by step. The best way to prepare—for a net new marketing plan or even a specific marketing campaign—is to consider the 3 Cs before you take one step forward. Investing time to develop your plan is essential—a misstep can have a grave impact on your brand reputation.
Step 1: Clarity
This step is all about the who, what, when, where, and why. Very rarely does a business market to existing customers and potential prospects in the same way—although the message may be similar. You will need to think about who is in your audience—and what you want to share with each of them. Some questions to consider:
- If you are focused on prospects, then think about who you want to talk to—the CEO, the IT manager, etc.
- What does your ideal customer profile look like and what platform allows you to best reach that demographic.
- Do you have a vertical you’re trying to break into; if yes, where can you find those decision-makers?
Starting with your audiences will help you then determine what messages you need to think through and where you find those targets. Don’t forget to think about timing—are you launching a yearlong push or a short, intense promo campaign? That goes hand in hand with the question of why? What’s the purpose of this effort? Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to think about your capabilities for execution.